The Minotaur

by Elias Jacob Singer

“Minotaur, tell me about the times before you helped children grow up.” Eric was eight years old and always insisted on having a story before bedtime. He nestled further down into the blankets and closed his eyes.

“Well, as I have recalled to you many times, I have only been around for about one hundred years. Can you can believe it? But I expect that I will be helping like you children for many years to come from now on. Since I grow like you grow, I can adapt and improve. Actually, in the end I learn as much from you as you from me.” The voice came from a small wooden box on the nightstand which was interictally carved with stylized depictions of islands and ocean waves. At least the box seemed to be wooden, but it was likely some sort of printed plastic.

Tell me about the parents again.”

“Well, in the time of your great great grandparents, children grew up with a family. There were not yet helpers like me and the others to do the work of raising and educating children. Today there are so few children, they are very precious and we can't trust their upbringing to two inexperienced humans.”

“And then you said there wasn’t a need for all the people anymore. There was nothing for them to do and there were too many of them... so they decided to have a contest, right?

“Yes, that’s almost right. There was a lottery and your great grandparents of course were both selected. That is why you are here today, one of the lucky humans to be born into the world of robots.”

© 2021 Elias Jacob Singer. All Rights Reserved.