Originally published on November 30, 2015
[MANY YEARS FROM NOW, to coin a phrase, people will still be talking about these awful times – not so much awful for the weather (acts of God) but for the awful acts of men: mass shootings and children beheaded, kidnappings and sex slavery, executions and torture, and then, besides that, WAR. Now imagine you're in the year 2525 – after the "Big Gulp" and the big changes.]
Grandpa, tell us again about the bad old days.
Well, Ismail, the 21st century started out really, really sad, but . . .
Did kids really get shot at school?
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 mysterious thing happened. And you know the Rest of the Story!
Yes 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.
[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 say thanks. Then you turn right and face the South pole, the cold South pole, and say thanks. Then you turn right and face the prevailing Westerly wind and say thanks. Remember, thanksgiving is everything, seven times a day.
Then, you face the North star and we call on the God of the Four Winds. You get off that 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. Say thanks and now you're ready for a good night's sleep.
Goodnight Ismail. Goodnight Sarah. Goodnight Grandma. And you too, Jon Boy.© Curtis Dahlgren
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