"More water." said the man as he stirred the muddy hole in the ground at his feet. "Where's that stupid boy? Where's he gone to now? Always disappearing when I need him. Useless."
He lifted the shovel and slung a large splash of grey mud onto the tall mound before him.
"Almost finished. Another soldier." He dropped the shovel and began smoothing the damp sludge across the front of his statue. He carefully stroked the mud as it dried, creating half-closed eyelids on the statue's face.
"Almost finished. It's a good likeness. I see life in this one." The man kneeled down and scooped up mud with both hands. He stood and slapped his hands downward on each side of his statue, evening out the shoulders. "I feel life," he announced. He surveyed his ordered rows of mud pillars. "Too many to count," was his dismissal of those crumbling off into the distance. "Ah the fruits of my toil. Thick as trunks in a forest." He smiled. "If they were trees, by next year they'd be growing."
As he turned back to his work in progress, the statue lifted one arm, then another. "I've done it. It moves. It is alive." the man whispered then repeated his revelation as a command.
The statue lifted one leg, then another and began walking away from the man, the hole, and the resultant legion of mud doppelgangers. "Come back, come back!" The man called out as he stumbled and fell.
"Stupid man." said the boy as he wiped the mud from his eyes and kept walking. "If they were trees, they'd be stumps."
Come back, come back, be with me, be mine..." the sinking man incanted over and over again from the hole where he had fallen, until the mud drowned him out.
The boy kept on walking. "I already was yours. I am your son."