And the toes wonder to themselves:
“Hey, what are we for?”
And their owner wiggles them a little in the shoe, a stray hair irritating the littlest toe, which turns to the side. All five are sweaty, rubbing against each other. There is no satisfaction to be had, crumpled into a boot a size too small, ragged nails tearing at woollen sock, itchy skin. The toes sigh and imagine better uses for themselves than to be at the bottom of the body.
The big toe, frugal to the last, imagines the five go picking up loose change. A noble talent he convinces himself, as the owner might need the correct toll amount double quick. And he smiles at his idea.
The second toe, lanky, thin and always the practical one, supposes they are for walking, for pushing the foot off the ground, and for balance. The toe appeased, falls asleep, curled like a pigs tail.
The third toe in the middle of the bustle, always warm, prefers a more sensual proposal. That toes are for pleasure, as receptacles for the tongue, to be sucked and slide across teeth, the owner should yelp for air. And satisfied, the third toe perks up and stretches his full length.
And the fourth toe, second to last and oft ignored, lays stumped at the idea that there is purpose to existence, instead wonders what it would be like outside the shoe and maybe more north of the foot. Yes, how would it be to live on the hand, maybe with a ring around the base? And the toe imagines this scenario for as long as he can, so as to escape his reality.
And finally, the baby toe hums and haws, squeaks and squabbles and most of all grumbles. Toes, he is sure, are for stepping on, for crunching and crushing, for twisting and twirling, for abusing. So, as always, the littlest toe folds into itself and under its closest neighbour, safe from wild extremities.