Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for xenogenesis

For the month of April I will be taking part in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I will be using two tools besides my trusty computer - my imagination and my dictionary -The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition.. I will turn to the letter of the day, flip the pages and let my fickle finger of fate find the word. Then I'll write - might be a story, might be a rant, might be a poem. Who knows! Do let me know what you think. To go to the list of other participants go here - There's a heck of a lot of blogs and there are many more signed up below me. If you make a comment I will do my darnedest to check out your blog and comment. Spread the love around!


xenogenesis - n. The supposed production of offspring markedly different from and showing no relationship to either of its parents.


When I was born, so the story goes, my parents looked at me and then at each other with disbelief. Then, at that time, it was thought that their true daughter had been stolen by the faeries and I placed in the nest, as a cuckoo will lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. They were simple peasants and had no way of understanding what had happened to cause my arrival and so grasped at these old superstitions. It wasn't a case of my father accusing my mother of any ill doing. They lived in a tiny and isolated village that perched on the eastern coast of one of the Orkney Islands. They never saw anyone that looked like me in all their days and indeed no one in the village had. It came to be believed that no one in the world had but that wasn't known then. We were an arrested people - stopped in our development culturally at about the mid-sixteenth century. We practiced old rituals and made do with our gardens, sheep and fishing to survive.

The scientists that traveled from Edinburgh to look upon me said that I must be an example of xenogenesis although no real scientist believes this to be a fact in nature. And how was I so markedly different? I was tiny for one thing - I only weighed a few ounces at birth but was completely formed - lungs and so forth finished. And I was of a faint green colour - like a young pea shoot - and covered in a fine fuzz of fur that was also green. My parents called me Chloe - the green one - and I only grew to be under a meter tall and though the fine fur that originally covered my body soon left it - my own hair colour was always considered to be a pale green blonde. 

Though I was considered a changeling, my parents refused to let me go back to the city with the scientists and I lived my years on the island in complete harmony with the events that went on there. The villagers came to accept me having no choice and feeling no threat. I became known far and wide for my fine embroidery - for my fingers were tiny and my eye for colour always markedly different. 
My parents are long gone and I was their only offspring. They told me it wasn't because of my difference but that my mother couldn't seem to get with child again. They deeply regretted, they told me, that they didn't have five more just like me - so delightful did they find me. I would like to know where there are others like me but will die never knowing I am certain. Ah well. Perhaps when I die the faeries will come and take me home.

3 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - What a lovely description of what xenogenesis must be like for families. And it just adds to the story that you place in a setting where it would have a real impact. This is great!

Liza said...

A lovely story and a lesson too. Never heard that word before. In this day and age, I'm sorry to say that someone would expect a DNA test. I love your little character! I love her mother even more.

Cindy Dwyer said...

You sure are more entertaining than Webster was!