I like Mexican Jumping Beans. Someone once told me that they were real and that they had worms or insects or something inside, but the non-fictional version is less exciting. The worms, of course, are mad and drunken. They jump because they know the secret - because they can hear space screaming at them.
"Jump, little beans - jump!" screams Space.
And so they do. And the beans scream back at space, but what they scream is one of those secrets I dare not speak.
Mexican jumping beans are not, of course, from Mexico. Mexico is just a metaphor in this case for the country that is nearby but totally different. The Eighth World - the Plain of Shadows. Mexican jumping beans are a shade of red that cannot stay still - it's a shade of red that means movement. The brain doesn't process this shade of red as a color, but as a moving object - it keys the rod cells, not the cones cells. They're more intelligent than humans. They could solve our problems if we'd swallow our problems and just ask the Mexican jumping beans.
Don't even consider them as a food source.
Plant them in the ground, if you like. They're like the Mundane Egg from the stories. You don't know what will hatch or sprout or spring from the bean. Water it, or the ground will collapse beneath you. Talk lovingly to whatever comes out - you don't want it to exist if it doesn't love you. Give it beautiful soil - whatever comes out had best be healthy. Mexican jumping beans will grow whatever they like, and the best you can do is become a faithful servant.
They're not for food - I mentioned before - but they enjoy being placed over rice. White, sticky, pure rice. Rice that is a canvas. Rice that promises to support the Mexican jumping beans in whatever they do. They're gods. They're your secret friend. They jump. They sing. They know the names of particles and waves and numbers you don't have the hardware to process. Mexican jumping beans have a power you don't - they're fiction, and things of fiction can perform miracles and tricks that you'll never see among circuses and fakirs.