I am a toe nail. The first toe nail on my lord's foot. A grand foot that spans ten whole inches. I am at the tip of that foot, resting on the fattest toe of my lord. A toe nail! you think. You do not say but I am sure you treat me with surprise. Surprise at finding a toe nail with thoughts. But it is no crime being a toe nail, I say. No. I have a good life. A happy life.
But what kind of a life could a toe nail have? you think. You do not say but I am sure you are apprehensive at my happiness. For the likes of you can not see a toe nail happy. No sir, they cannot. But I have a happy life. It is true that I lack most of the senses that make a fine man like you happy. I lack the sense of sight that adds colour to your worlds. That shows you all that is divine in this world. Washed by the light of God himself. Vibrant with life itself. Azure skies, the pale white moon, green meadows, pretty damsels. I can see none of these and more that you gentlemen feast your eyes upon. I also lack the sense of smell that allows you good fellows to revel in the odours of all that is beautiful. For beautiful things always smell good, so I think. The smell of blossoms, the smell of perfume on a beautiful woman. The smell of damp soil after the first rain, the smell of delicious food. I can smell none of those. I can also not taste. None of the epicurean delights that all of you indulge in is meant for me. But I can feel. Yes, yes! Do not be surprised so. How can a toe nail feel? you think. You do not say but I am sure you do not believe me when I tell you I can feel. I can feel the world from my master's feet. I feel the shoes that he wears. I feel the grass when he walks barefoot on it. I feel the water splashing when he frolics in puddles and streams. I feel his pain when he bumps me into something hard. I feel his pleasure when he runs me against his mistress's soft legs. I feel it all. Do not laugh at me! I do not lie!
It is just an ugly lump of dead cells, you think. You do not say but I am sure you take me to be a good for nothing appendage to the human body. It is not so I protest! I add beauty to the foot. I am decorated and maintained. Women meticulously paint my kin on their feet to seduce their lovers. Imagine your foot without me. It would be horribly ugly! Just skin, skin and more skin. Not to mention how much I protect your pretty feet from damage. No sirs, I am not simply a lump of dead cells. My life is tough and harsh. Monotonic and slow. But it is still a life. I beg you to understand me! To see me for who I am, who I would like you to see me as. For what does a toe nail have if not the love of its lord and respect for itself!