Pantomime, one robots search for rhythm. a children's story parallel to Herman Hess' Sidhartha using original charaters and plot line.

Essay by graibugHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 2003

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Pantomime watched as all the other robots in the factory danced.

He tapped his little metal toe off beat and turned down all the

lady-bots that asked him to boogie. Oh, how he yearned to be in

the spotlight twisting his metal torso from side to side with the

tempo, but the last time he tried he was laughed at and shunned

by the others. You see, a mishap at the factory caused poor

Pantomime to be built without an important coordination sprocket.

Without that metal piece, his danced moved appeared as if he

hadn't had his joints oiled in days.

Pantomime became sadder and sadder with each day. He moved slowly

and didn't do any of the work assigned to him. He was jealous of

all of the other robots, and bitter that he was built without his

inner coordination sprocket. He decided he had to have words with

the factory owner.

"Mr. Factory owner, Sir?" beeped the robot.

"Yes Pantomime," said the man, "what can I do for you?"

"Sir, it must be no secret to you that I just simply can not bust

a move."

The factory owner nodded.

"It makes me very upset, Sir. Dancing is my passion. If I can not

dance I can not function properly. I want to ask you if it would

be possible to have my coordination piece installed. It would

mean so much Sir, and would make me so happy."

"Oh Pantomime, I apologize, but that inner piece has not been

manufactured for many, many years." explained the man. "I am

afraid it would be impossible to find."

That night, while the other robots recharged, Pantomime stood in

front of a shiny steel wall. He jerked his arms and legs and

studied his reflection while he tried to dance.

"There must be someone, someplace that has that inner piece!" he

cried. "I have to go find it and prove to the others that I can

dance. I just have to."

So Pantomime packed some extra batteries and fuel in a bag and

set out on his journey.

'I'm going to find my inner piece.' thought the determined robot.

He couldn't bear another day of watching the others twist, tango,

and mash potato.

Pantomime first came upon a large building just a few miles away

from the factory. "Cal's Line Dancing Studio. Fun for the whole

family." read the sign. Curious, Pantomime entered the studio and

was at once thrilled by what he saw. Moms and dads and children

and grandparents all dressed in western costumes, and

simultaneously stomping to country music.

"Hey there!" called Cal from the front of the studio.

"Come on and join in on the fun!"

Stomp. One, two, rock forward. Curtsy, three, four, do-si-do,

stomp. One, two, rock forward. Curtsy, three, four, do-si-do...

This went on for days.

Pantomime learned the line dances quite quickly, and even Cal was

impressed with his success, but the robot just still wasn't


'I want to be original. I want to be able to do all kinds of

dances. These people all look like herded cattle.' he thought.

'Besides, I still have not found my inner piece. I bet once I

find it I will be able to break dance with the best of them! I am

wasting my time here.'

Pantomime was very thankful to Cal and his students for accepting

him and teaching him to stomp and twirl in a row, but that was

all it was. He would never be the dancing king he dreamed of if

he did not get away from the simple repetitive moves of line

dancing. That night he snuck away from the studio, and renewed

his search for his inner piece.

Weeks later while refueling at a gas station, Pantomime was

befriended by the most beautiful human he had ever seen.

"What's the matter little bot?" asked the woman. "You look down."

"Oh," sighed Pantomime. "I can not find my inner piece so that I

can dance. It is hopeless. No one can help me."

The woman put her arm around his cold steel shoulder plate.

"Don't you know who I am?"

Pantomime shrugged.

"Silly bot. Madonna is my name, and I think I am just the person

to show you how to boogie."

Immediately Madonna threw Pantomime into her truck and whisked

him away to her mansion in L.A.

"Come on Pantomime! Vogue!"

Both Madonna and the robot were getting frustrated. This was the

fourth week of practicing dance routines and Pantomime still

appeared as if his joints were rusted and in need of oil.

"Don't just stand there! Let's get to it! Strike a pose there's

nothing to it!"

"Enough." beeped Pantomime with exhaustion. "I am hopeless

Madonna. Without my inner piece I just don't have the

coordination. Besides, these are your dances. I need to be

original. I need my own style. I'm sorry for wasting your time."

"Wait!" yelled Madonna.

But it was too late. Pantomime had already wheeled away.

Exhausted and depressed from his journey, Pantomime sat on the

curbside just outside of an old auto-mechanic shop to rest. Not

long after he had started sobbing, the owner of the shop sat next

to Pantomime and attempted to comfort him.

"Down on your luck, buddy?" asked the grizzly old man.

"Oh. Sorry Sir. I will move if you like. It's just that I am so

tired and so upset. I have come from the old factory, to line

dancing at Cal's, to L.A. with Madonna, and I still haven't found

my inner piece so that I can dan... oh never mind."

"You're inner what?" asked the man.

"Inner piece. It's a very rare coordination sprocket I was built

without, and because I don't have it, I look like a fool when I

dance." explained Pantomime.

"Oh yes. I am very familiar with that sprocket you are talking

about. Actually, we even used to manufacture it right here in

this very shop." said the man.

Pantomime's eyes glowed. "You mean, you have the piece! Can you

install it for me?"

"Whoa now, robot. I think you're getting a little ahead of

yourself. I said we used to manufacture it. But we sold out of

those things years ago."

Another let down for Pantomime. He started to sob uncontrollably.

"But who says you need one of those. Come on," the grizzly old

man flicked the switch of his radio, "show me your moves."

Reluctantly, Pantomime stood up. He wiped the tears from his eyes

and started to bend and twist his mechanical limbs in the same

way that he used to back at the factory. The same way that

everyone used to make fun of. The same way that he had avoided

and forgotten about for many months. He felt awkward and

embarrassed in front of the auto shop owner.

"Wonderful!" chuckled the grizzly man. "What do you call such an

amazing dance?"

"You think this is dancing?" Pantomime was stunned.

"Why yes! Pantomime my friend, that has to be the most original

dance I have ever seen in my life! What do you call it?"

Just then Pantomime came to a realization. He had had the power

to boogie all along. He didn't need a silly coordination

sprocket, or dance lessons. The inner pieces already inside of

himself were all he needed to be able to dance the most original

dance of his time. The auto-mechanic had opened his eyes. He

needed to make his own waves in the world of dancing in order to

be happy.

Pantomime felt a sudden confidence that he had never felt before.

His choreography, although awkward, was his own and he was proud

of it. He looked at the old grizzly auto mechanic, who was still

waiting for an answer to his question.

"I invented it." smiled Pantomime. "It's called The Robot."