A stray something wanders across the floor. People follow it with their eyes. Look there one man says. Look there at that stray something.
One woman admits to noticing the stray something, but adds that she thinks it might be a rat.
A rat? another woman responds. How absolutely dreadful. She says this in a dry, stolid manner.
The stray something continues wandering. It stumbles over something but regains itself. A rather insignificant bump there, it scoffs, scuttling hurriedly along.
After some time people begin to tire of tracing the stray something’s wandering path. Who cares? someone sighs.
Indeed another adds.
Several weeks later a man is sitting alone at his desk. Very little happens at this man’s desk, and for this he is grateful. At present, however, something fantastic happens: he remembers having seen a wandering stray something only a few weeks prior. My, my, he says to himself, I do wonder what that stray something was.
After a time, however, his wonder subsides.