Wednesday, June 08, 2011

When the world lost its color: a children's story

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a little boy who grew up in a small village. In this land there were two kinds of people, those who broke their soft-boiled eggs on the little side (called little-endians), and those who preferred the big side (called big-endians). This boy was a little-endian, mostly because his parents were little-endian, but most people in the land were big-endian. He was not very rich, and loved art. When he was a young man, he went to a big city. Many people lived in the big city, and so there was much more to do there. The boy loved to paint, and learnt painting and started a job making posters for films. Many people saw the films, and there were very many people in the big city. So there were lots of posters to be made. All the posters were made by hand, so there was lots of work for the boy.

The boy painted a lot, and made some money, and he was glad. Because he painted so much, and because he liked painting, he got good at it. He got so good at it, that he painted more than just posters. He painted many things, and his works were displayed all over the world. Everyone was amazed at what this boy could do, though of course by now he was a man. He got so good, that his works were shown with those of other famous painters. Everyone in his little village knew about the boy, and everyone in the big city knew about him too. Both little-endian and big-endian people wrote letters to tell him that he was a great painter. The big-endian people could tell that he was little-endian, but it didn't bother them.

Around this time, he painted some paintings that had big-endian women wearing few clothes. This was not unusual, painters often paint whatever comes to mind, so nobody takes notice. These paintings stayed unnoticed for many years. Some big-endian painters had painted big-endian women wearing few clothes, and nobody had cared.

With time, this man got lots of praise and lots of awards. He became a very rich man, and many people outside his country loved his paintings.

Then, one day, some big-endian people decided that his old paintings, the paintings of big-endian women were not good. They thought that these paintings hurt big-endian people. Of course, when the paintings were made, the man didn't want to hurt anyone and most big-endian people hadn't even seen these paintings, let alone be hurt by them. The paintings were very expensive, so very few people had the opportunity to look at them.

But these big-endian people decided that their hurt was too much. The man was very sorry, even though he couldn't understand why these old paintings would hurt anyone. Some big-endian people broke things in the man's house, and destroyed some of his paintings. They were hoping that breaking things and harming him would make them feel better. But of course it didn't, and the hurt only became worse. The King agreed that the big-endian people had been hurt, and that breaking things was a fine idea, even though the King is supposed to protect people and be responsible and just.

The man didn't know what to do. He couldn't stay at home for fear that people would beat him. His big-endian friends did not offer to help, they must not have been real friends. Even the King wanted to lock this man away for a very long time. The man couldn't understand why the people who had once loved him now hated him. Maybe it had something to do with him being little-endian, even though he hadn't cared much for it himself. He had opened his eggs on whichever end turned up first. But now that the big-endian people were angry at him, he got angry at them. He asked the King of a country that only had little-endian people, if he could live there. The King of the little-endian country agreed, because this man was so famous.

When little-endian children heard this story, they stopped painting. Big-endian children were also very scared of painting because they didn't want to accidentally draw any little-endian women, with or without clothes. The world lost its color.