Friday, 5 April 2019

A Just So (Awful) Story for Not-So-Little Children


(Warning: If you have never read the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, this will make no sense at all. Just like ... oh, you know.)


Once upon a time, Oh my Best Beloved, there was a World in which Brexit wasn’t a Thing.

It was a world in which all the Animals lived Happily Side by Side, sharing what was Theirs, and gathering at the foot of the Brussels Tree to discuss Matters of Great Importance.

But then, One Day, a Monster appeared among them to spread Fear and Anger. The Monster’s Name was Brexit. And even after Brexit went away, Nothing was ever quite the same again.

Our story begins in the High and Far-Off Times, Oh Best Beloved, when there lived a People of infinite-resource-and-sagacity. They were Happy People, not laugh-out-loud, ho-ho-ho Happy, but more-or-less, give-or-take-a-bit-here-and-there Contented Happy, such as one might be after a Warm Bath and a mug of Hot Chocolate.

But there lived among them some People who were Not Happy or Contented. ‘’Scuse us,’ said the Not Happy People. ‘Where is Our Sovereignty? Our Freedom to Make Trade Deals? And why can we not Control Our Borders?’

The Brexit Monster jumped and thumped, he pranced and he danced, and he banged and he clanged, and he hit and he bit, and he prowled and he howled, and he crawled and he bawled. ‘Follow Me,’ he cried to the Not Happy People. ‘And I shall give you Everything that You Desire.’

So then there came, Best Beloved, An Effer-ren-dum, and All the People cast Their Votes. And, to the Great Surprise of All the People, both the Happy and Contented, and the Not Happy and Not Contented, there were more votes cast by those who were Not Happy than by those who were Happy.

Now you may remember, Oh My Best Beloved, the Story of how the Elephant’s Child got his Trunk. You will remember that the Elephant’s Child was full of ’satiable curtiosity, which means he asked ever so many questions. But the Not Happy People didn’t know the story of the Elephant’s Child, and they had No Curtiosity at all, which means they didn’t ask any questions.

This was their Big Mistake. The Brexit Monster -- you remember him, Best Beloved?-- had promised to give them Everything That They Desired. But they did not ask him How. Or When. That’s what I mean when I say they had No Curtiosity.

‘’Scuse us,’ said the Not Happy People after a long time had passed. ‘But what has Happened to our Brexit?’

‘Did I tell you it would be Easy?’ replied the Monster. ‘Did I tell you it would be Quick?’

‘Yes,’ cried the Not Happy People, who were now even more Not Happy than they had been before. ‘That is exactly what you told us.’

‘You are Mistaken,’ said the Monster. ‘You are remembering Things that were never said.’

So one by one, the Not Happy People in the Palace by the River tried to walk away from the Brexit Monster. They were pulled This Way and That Way, so that their Eyes went to the right and their Nose went to the left, until they no longer knew whether it was Tuesday or Westminster. And just like the Elephant’s Child, Oh Best Beloved, they cried out: ‘Led go! You are hurtig be!’

And then, my Child, you will scarce believe what Befell Them. A great flood descended from the Roof of their Palace, from the Place where the Reptiles and the Scribblers sat, and they all were forced to run for their lives, or at least to save their Shiny Suits.

No one in the Palace knew where the waters came from – but we do, don’t we, Oh Best Beloved? Where else, but from the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, which as you know, is all set about with fever-trees.

And that, you may think, Explains Everything.

1 comment:

Viv Lever said...

Brilliant, Robin....just brilliant, thank you!