There he was, rusty and hollow. His body made of tin. Alone, chopping wood like he always does. Suddenly, he felt an ache by his knees. He picked up his oil can and poured on them. He can walk nimbly once again.
With his hands tightly gripped on his axe, he chopped and chopped and chopped more wood. For he knows not what exhaustion is, something his tin body can easily shrug off. He can work round the clock stopping only to pour oil on his rusting joints. Alas he might never get tired, but he could never stay nimble forever.
Once he knew a servant girl who he had not seen for a long time. In his faint memory of her, he knew there was something he had for her. His mind does not remember what it was. He only knows how to chop wood, but it cannot be that. No one, not even a tireless Tin Man, would want to chop a sweet young lady like her. He thought hard, as hard as his mind can. There was something he had for her a long time ago. He admired her.
He heard a strange hollow sound. But then silence. His mind returned to the idea he remembered earlier. Admiration. He admired someone long ago. How one admires another person, he is mostly uncertain. For this Tin Man had no heart.
There it was once more. That hollow clicking sound he cannot seem to find wherever it was coming from. He took his oil can and poured heavily on all his joints. Maybe he’s getting more rusty and creaky resulting to these hallucinations. Or maybe not. Because again, there was nothing but silence.
Once more he reminisced that beautiful lady he knew way back when. He remembered the way her lips curved upward which made her face brighten up like the crescent moon at night. Maybe that was what admiration is. The way someone’s face seem to bright up the darkness with just one smile. He was unaware that while drowning in his deep thoughts his lips began to curl upward, too.
He took hold of his oil can and poured on his joints once more. Funny how thinking about what admiration was has made him creaky somewhere he can’t determine. As the black oil gushed down the nozzle of his oil can he remembered the deep black eyes of that wonderful lady he once knew. The way she looked at him — that only time she truly looked at him — felt like they were in a world where no one else existed. Suddenly, there was fluid flowing out of the Tin Man’s eyes rolling down his cheeks, but he never noticed.
He was surprised of what he found. His lips were smiling though his eyes were welling up with tears. He found himself in an unfamiliar scenario, something that would endlessly boggle a Tin Man’s mind. Maybe he had poured too much oil that they’re flowing out of his eyes, he thought. But now, that hollow clicking sound did not stop. It kept going and going, faster and faster. He leaned to the left and then to the right, trying to listen where it was coming from. The sound has become more intense, he thought, that his hollow body seems to vibrate because of it. His joints, creaking but nimble, shuddered as the sound grew not louder but stronger.
The Tin Man gasped and jumped in surprise. That sound, that hollow clicking sound growing stronger in each passing moment, was coming from inside him. Inside his hollow metal torso, the sound began escalating. His mind could not find peace because of this unfamiliarity. He was doing his routinary job as usual but this never happened before. The one thing that differs this time was the thought of that young lady and of…of…admiration.
His world seemed to stop. He seemed to have comprehended the situation now. Yes he became a Tin Man, but he never lost his heart.
Suddenly, he found himself running towards the place where he first met her leaving his axe and oil can behind, not worried of being consumed fully by rust. This time he knew, his newly resurrected heart will keep him nimble until he reached her. Soon, he will find bliss.