Who Paints, Paints Himself

Ve laughs! Ve makes! Ve makes with his hands, a large metal man, with his face. Ve’s face! He stands back and laughs at it.

“What a thing I have made,” he said. “What a marvel! What use might I put this to?”

Ve gives his metal man a kick and the metal man shudders into life. The metal man laughs! The metal man bends down and takes the earth in his hands, and the metal man makes! What he makes is vast, too vast for Ve to see, so Ve makes a telescope and holds it to his eye and he sees. Ve sees! Ve sees an Earthman, towering and strong, with his face, Ve’s face. Ve’s face, on an Earthman!

The metal man grinds his gears together in a way that means he is pleased with his Earthman. He kicks the Earthman and the Earthman moves. The Earthman laughs!

“I see where this is going,” says Ve to himself, “and it is good.”

Ve laughs, and Ve makes, and Ve makes small! And smaller yet! The smallest there has ever been. And the smallest thing makes a thing smaller yet, and smaller still, and smaller, until even with the most powerful of microscopes Ve cannot see what they are making, but he knows they are wearing his face, Ve’s face. Meanwhile, the Earthmen have bulked into mountains, and planets, and galaxies, and Ve knows they are still wearing his face, Ve’s face.

Ve laughs!