Note: Reprinted from April 25, 2019
Grampa, tell us again about the bad old days.
Well, Ismail, the 21st century started out really, really sad, but . . .
Did people really get run over by trucks, and people got shot in church?
I'm afraid so, Ismail.
Well, to get the context, you have to start at the beginning. Back in those days both the clergy and the Crown had to tell lies to stay in power, and the truth was irrelevant.
Do you mean "relative"?
That too, but the point is we must never tell lies anymore.
Will those terrible times ever come back?
Not a chance, boy. Not since the year a strange thing happened and our people found out the Truth.
What year was that?
Well, to be exact, it was the year the species homo sapiens almost lost the world to a curse.
What was that, Grandpa?
Well, the nations were united and they wanted to blow this one city off the map.
Ha! It just seemed, I guess, a good idea to them at the time. You have to understand, people were different back then, and jealousy and envy were all the "rage"! There was so much hate all over the world . . .
Do you mean "hatred"?
Yes, to be exact, but anyway . . .
Well it was funny, but the obvious solution came from a surprising direction. It was a paradox.
Do you mean "irony"?
Both! The results were unexpected, but they were also ironic, in the sense that we were saved by those we had always hated the most. And we should have known; the word was implied, and . . .
Do you mean "inferred"?
Actually both. There had been hints that something big was coming, and some people GOT IT. Work with me here, Ismail.
Sorry Grandpa. But what year was that?
It was the year all Hell was breaking out all over and this very strange thing happened. Well – you know the Rest of the Story!
Yes we do, Grandpa. Thank you.
You're welcome. Is there anything else you want to know?
Yes. Where do babies come from?
Well, I'm starting to get sleepy myself, so you'll have to ask your mother Hagar in the morning.
[His sister Sarah laughs.]
Okay kids; it's time to say our prayers and go to bed now.
Yea! Show us again Grandpa.
Okay – first you face true North and close your eyes. Try to remember if you've been good all day. If not, you pick up your right foot and kick yourself in the left leg. Then you turn right and face the East and say thanks for their wind. Then you turn right and face the South pole and say thanks for their wind, Then you turn right and face the prevailing Westerly wind and say thanks. Remember, thanksgiving is everything, seven times a day.
Then you turn right, face the North star, and call on the God of the Four Winds. You get off your high horse and put four on the floor, your two hands and your two knees, like the prophet Elijah, with your ankles crossed, your face on the floor, your hands on your head and your elbows on your knees. And if you want to look smaller, you just squeeze and make yourself look like a ball. Then we say "Thank you Father!" And so now you're ready to go to bed and get a good night's sleep.
Goodnight Ismail. Goodnight Sarah. Goodnight Grandma. And you too, Jon Boy.
P.S. Back to the present: I'm only being partly fictional. The Rest of the (real) Story is still being written. Despite all the world's bad news, there's a better day coming. Things will get worse before they get better, but some day there will even be a new heaven and a new earth. More to come.
PPS: If you want some hints about that future – and if you really want to "save the planet" – go to my Thanksgiving column last November in my archives.© Curtis Dahlgren
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