A Fairy Story?
Sally Goddard Blythe
Once upon a time there was a small country that lay between the sea and another land.
It was a beautiful country, with a wealth of varied landscapes, mountains, stunning coastline, rolling valleys and lakes. Most of the towns where small, but in a few of the large cities a deadly virus had struck, and the people were afraid
The governors were men and women of integrity and wanted to protect the people, so they closed the invisible borders between this land and the next and told the people they must stay at home. They could leave home to buy food, but they must not see family or friends who did not live with them and they must not go out to play.
The people looked with amazement at people in the other land who still went to work, to shop and to mix with their friends and families and wondered what they had done wrong. But they knew that their rulers cared for them, so they stayed at home.
The people wondered if the virus knew that it was not allowed to travel across the invisible line between one land and the next; if it too, would obey the rules.
They wished that their rulers would open the doors of special hospitals to treat people who caught the virus so that they would not infect other people and that people who were sick with other conditions could be treated safely.
They dreaded the approach of winter knowing that with long hours of darkness, they would need light, but they were not allowed to buy candles. If their kettles broke, they must boil water in pans and their hair must be allowed to grow in case they lost their strength. They must not buy books or films because these would not be needed during the long hours of darkness when it was too cold to go out to play. They did not know what they would do if there were winter storms and the energy supply failed but they knew their rulers cared for them, so they stayed at home.
The people became afraid. How would they work? How would they pay their bills? They started to fear these things more than the deadly virus itself. They felt isolated and wondered why the people they could see in the other land were still meeting to share food and drink, were allowed to sing together and to travel to distant lands where the virus also surely lurked, behaving as if nothing was wrong. They started to feel isolated and as winter’s tentacles began to take their hold on the landscape turning lanes and fields to mud, a malaise began to creep upon them.
Their rulers said that they would only have to obey the rules for a short time, but neither the rulers nor the people really knew. The only thing that knew was the virus. The virus was free to travel without frontiers to find and invade a suitable host where and whenever it could. Which was more intelligent?…………
To be continued.