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Friday, 23 August 2013

A Fairy Story: The little girl and the marvellous liquid


Once upon a time there was a land which was very rich.


It had a marvellous liquid from which the people could make millions of different things. Some of the things were small but very important because they helped keep the people well and cured their illnesses. 



Other things that were made from the marvellous liquid helped the people move from city to city, or talk to one another, or teach their children. The things also helped make their food, go on holiday, or entertained them, making them laugh. Very often the useful things that were made with the liquid could not be made from anything else.



The marvellous liquid could also be burned to keep warm in the winter, or to propel carts so the people could move around. It was a truly wonderful liquid.



And so the people lived long, happy and fulfilling lives, and began to take the marvellous liquid for granted. They had parties in their gardens under the waxing moon and even burned the marvellous liquid to take the chill out of the air while they arranged their deck-chairs.




The trouble was that the marvellous liquid was running out. Everyone in the land knew it was running out, but no one wanted to think about it. The people were so happy with their interesting and useful things that they imagined the marvellous liquid would last forever. They were so dependent on the things that were made from the marvellous liquid that they could not think of a life without them; it frightened them too much, so they put it out of their minds.



And the people kept on consuming the marvellous liquid, especially by burning it in their houses and carts. 


And the reserves of the marvellous liquid got lower and lower and lower.



Then one day, somewhere in the very back of a small house, in a tiny street of one of the most minor towns of that land, a little girl called Mantissa was crying. She had just broken her favourite toy, which like all toys in the land had been made from the marvellous liquid. Her mother warned her that they could not replace the toy because the marvellous liquid was so rare now, that it was extremely expensive.



So the little girl said:



If the marvellous liquid is so useful for making so many different, necessary and useful things, why do we waste it by burning it in our homes and carts when we could burn something else instead?



So her mother went to the Mayor and said:



Why are we wasting the marvellous liquid by burning it, when we could burn other things instead?



So the Mayor went to the minister of state and said:



Why not burn other things to keep us warm and to power our carts so we can conserve our marvellous liquid for making all those things upon which our life depends?



And the Minister of State, well she went to the king, who thought it was a really good idea He discussed it with his plants (because he found that they gave good advice), and then passed it to the Prime Minister to do something.



And so all the homes and carts in the land were converted to run on gas, and no longer was the marvellous liquid wasted anymore by simply being burned.



But of course there was so little of the marvellous liquid left by then, that it was a real shame. There were no more toys made out of it, but that did not matter because there was just enough left to keep the people well and cure their illnesses.



Travel became slower and rarer and the people remembered how to write and sent letters to each other again instead. The people had holidays at home, taught their children in the traditional way and grew their food locally. Oh, and by the way, they entertained themselves, and laughed just as much as they ever did.



And they all lived pragmatically ever after.


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