A Small Patch of Hope

The town was beautiful; full of light and colour, full of artists and gardeners, built with care and covered by a vast, hopeful, blue sky.

However it wasn’t perfect and someone from that beautiful town noticed a field mouse gnawing on a tiny grain of wheat.

“Let us build a small wall, just big enough to keep out those gnawing mice.”

And they did.

The gnawing stopped but someone noticed a brown rabbit nibbling a flower in the gardens.

“Let us build the wall a little higher, just big enough to keep out those nibbling rabbits.”

And they did.

The nibbling stopped but someone noticed a wild boar that had strayed into the village blundering into a statue and knocking it over.

“Let build the wall a little higher, just big enough to keep out those blundering boar.”

“But it only happened once,” said a small voice.

“Let’s do it anyway.”

And they did.

The knocking down of statues stopped, except for that time when the baker accidentally hit one with his cart.

“We should build the wall higher so that wolves cannot steal our children.”

“Has that ever happened?” asked the small voice.

“No, but what if it did?”

So they built higher.

No children were taken by wolves. In fact, no-one ever saw a wolf in that part of the world.

“What if robbers come and steal our art?”

“But our art is freely given,” observed the small voice.

“Yes, but what if they take it all?”

So the wall grew even higher.

Art ceased to be made and what was already made was hidden in dark cellars.

“What if ogres come and steal the tiles from our roofs?”

“Is that likely?” questioned the small voice.

“You never know.”

So they built the wall higher still.

No ogres ever got into the town.

“These walls are not high enough. What if giants come to squish us?”

“Are giants even real?” puzzled the small voice.

“We can’t take the chance.”

So they built as high as they could and asked the small voice to leave.

Nothing could get in and nothing could get out.

The remaining inhabitants of that once beautiful town looked at each other.

“You are different to me. What if you gnawed my grain or nibbled my garden or knocked my things over or stole by children or took my art or removed the tiles from my roof or tried to squish me?”

“What if you did the same?”

And so everyone built a wall around them as high as they could build.

Everyone was safe.

“Safe and scared and cold and all alone with only a tiny, distant, blue sliver of hope above them,” said the small voice.

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