$15.00 – $22.00
First edition, 2015. 36 pages.
Zōsan is my first book, based on a Japanese folks song of the same name. Zochi the elephant is happy in his own little world with Mama and Papa Zo (象, elephant), but when he meets the Whistler he suddenly finds all kinds of new beauty in familiar places.
I raised the funds via kickstarter, which sparked my desire to keep writing and drawing. It was a limited run of only 300 copies, and I only have about 40 left.
Printed by Eberhardt Press on a Ryobi 2- color offset press using 100#T Mohawk superfine eggshell stock. Comes with a letterpress embossed book jacket made with Neenah Environment 100# uncoated stock
Audiobook available separately as a download or physical cd
Chapter 1: The Whistler
Little Zō lived with his Mama and Papa Zō out where the bamboo reached for the sky, the wind wandered freely, and the grass was an endless green ocean
He loved his Mama Zō and Papa Zō, and never really wandered far. Occasionally, he would squint at the sun going down and wonder where it would go, or tilt his head at the mountains and ponder where they came from, but he never asked too many questions. He was happy right where he was.
One day while eating his breakfast he heard a crunch-crunch-crunch come out of nowhere. He perked up his ears and listened. You see, elephants have large ears to match their noses and he could hear even the faintest sound. It was getting louder.
Peering down, he noticed a trail of little bugs following each other happily in a line. They didn’t notice Little Zō standing there, even as big as he was next to them. They were focused straight ahead, marching in a rhythmic, bouncy way, one-two, one-two, one-two.
“Hello little ones,” whispered Little Zō crouching down to get a closer look. He spoke quietly, because they were so small and he didn’t want to startle them or hurt their ears. “Where are you going?”
One of them finally noticed Little Zō and looked up. “Why, hello!” he said, without missing a beat. “Where are we going? Yahoo! We’re not really sure, but we’re going!”
“I don’t understand,” replied Little Zō. “What if you can’t find your way back? What if you don’t like where you’re going? What if you get hurt, or get hungry? What if it starts to rain? What if…”
Little Zō’s face wrinkled, the corner of his mouth reaching for his ears. Still marching, the bug raised his head slightly and made a high pitched foo-eeeeeeeeeeee! All of a sudden, the tiny crunch-crunch-crunch ceased and all Little Zō could hear was the breeze. The Whistler gestured to Little Zō to lift him up, so Little Zō carefully put his nose on the ground and let him climb.
“Doesn’t matter,” said the Whistler, “We’ll end up somewhere different and new, and that’s all we care about.” He threw his arms out and gazed around. “That’s the fun! You never know what you’ll see or where you’ll end up.”
Little Zō stared at the bugs on the ground. Some were looking ahead, others were looking at him. All of them were quite still. He went cross-eyed back at his nose, speechless.
The Whistler sighed and jumped down. “Give a it try someday. You won’t be disappointed.” Then Little Zō heard a faint tik-tik-tik, like two pebbles knocking together, and the crunch-crunch-crunch started again.
Little Zō watched as the line got shorter in the distance, disappearing over the grassy hill to the east. He sat there pondering, the only sound left the faint fshhhhhhhhhhhh of the bamboo leaves.
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