1598 c/o Wes Schofield

Notes Concerning the Night Sky

Jepp fell asleep every night counting the stars. He would count them on his fingers and his toes, his mouth, two eyes, two ears, and his nose. Twenty-six was the largest number he knew, so after counting his nose star, he gave them names instead.

Astrid, Anne, Ariel, Ashley, Betty, Bonnie, Connie, Cara, Delilah, Denise, Gertrude, Penny, Polly, Wauneta, Yola, and Zoe, names of all the girls he once knew. Then having run out of human beauties he would count the sky’s brightest lightest by his favorite foods. Spaghetti, Chocolate Cake, Scrambled Eggs, Ice Cream, Coffee, Lamb stew.

Once he had turned the hottest suns of the universe into an earthly smorgasbord of tasty delights, he counted by shades of green he had passed earlier that day on his way into town to buy a stack of fresh paper. Deep green grass, Fresh leaf green, Fallen leaf green, Baby bud green, Caterpillar green, Mossy green, Painted green fence green, Darkest black dirty pond green.

He counted by games he knew, he counted by cities he’d been to, by the rhythms he could dance soft shoe dance steps to.

It was around a quarter to three in the morning when he finally had wracked from his brain every possible notion, entity, name, or miscellany he could use to tally up the points of fire dotting the endless black of the night. It was also usually around this time each night he would be sent by his master to brew a fresh pot of coffee or tea. So, once having set a steaming mug on his master's table, being most careful not to spill a drop on one of the sheets filled with precious calculations, he would reclaim his spot in the tumble of hay below the massive tube containing the lens and other fine instruments capable of refracting from deepest darkest depths of our universe a small dot of visible light, and return to his sleeping ritual starting this time with pure nonsense gibberish.

Bock, Tock, Wick, Wock, Spic, Spoc, Trink, Zock, Zum, Grum, Plim, Trum, Voe, Koe, Krue, Cho. He rhymed like this, in a sing-song way, as a warm up to more complicated bit of meaningless twaddle. It was too difficult to carry on with monosyllabic rhyming gabble for more then five minutes without repeating oneself.

Chinto-soramorainian, Yegaldinarin, Togosh-myincantarue, Flimall, Duckrald, Nickra, Waza-ra-ra-ra-ru-hingto-clo-clu-bymaruchybabou.

Now although Jepp - a simple, uneducated, midget-servant-jester to master astronomer Tycho Brahe - had no precise way of knowing it, Waza-ra-ra-ra-ru-hingto-clo-clu-bymaruchybabu was also the last entry in his master’s catalogue listing the positions of 1,004 stars published early that year.

Tycho Brahe gave star one thousand and four the name three-k-Centauri, noted its location as two hundred and eleven degrees, three minutes, zero seconds and marked it’s dimness as a five.

Jepp noted the location of Waza-ra-ra-ra-ru-hingto-clo-clu-bymaruchybabu as 'two hand spans next to my nose over the biggest Fresh leaf green tree'. Its colour was that of a stack of fresh clean paper delivered on a Wednesday. He also made note of its twinkle, something Tycho Brahe had not. A very pretty blue sparkly twinkle, not as dim as Scrambled Eggs, but not quite as bright as Ashley on a dark snowy night.