Sometimes the stuff that you wish for in life, is the stuff that scares you the most. So it was with Thing. It was his last day at school, the last day of whatever this experience had been.
It had been difficult, not least for the fact that his mother and father had both left and never returned. It had been difficult because some people saw him as different and felt that Thing should suffer as a consequence. What was it that people feared over difference? Thing still couldn’t work that one out. But Thing had learned a lot, too. He had learned that no matter how bad today is, tomorrow comes with a promise. He learned that just because people looked kind, it didn’t mean that they were. Just like he learned that the meanest looking people can be the kindest. He’d realised it was the heart that mattered and not anything else.
His teacher had brought Thing to the front of the class to present Thing with a medal for standing up to bullying and standing up to bullies. Thing had found out that people weren’t born bullies – no, bullies were made out of the fear of those who looked after them. Hearts were made to bully, it wasn’t a natural state of life. As he had grown older and grown more wise, Thing had walked the corridors of school looking after those whose lives were made all the sadder by being picked upon. Thing helped them stand up for themselves – because a moment of life spent in anger or sadness, is really a moment wasted.
Thing found a couple of friends and lost a couple of friends, but that wasn’t anything to do with Thing. It was life. You met people for a time – some a long time, some short – and you might help that soul, or just walk by their side, or perhaps learn from them through their kindness or even their unkindness. Yet it seemed to Thing that those you met were not their by accident. Perhaps he was over-thinking it all, but what he believed worked for Thing and that was enough in itself. And in there was another lesson, don’t pull apart another’s beliefs no matter how different they are to you. It is what drives their soul and who was Thing to interfere with that?
So thing took his medal and his book that he had received for being the best at telling stories in class, and he walked away from school and up the hill for the last time.
He sat at the mouth of his cave, where he had sat for many summers and winters waiting on his mother and father to return. He wondered what he’d do next.
It was then he realized that in the distance there was a horizon and he had never seen over that horizon. So that is what he’d do, he’d keep walking towards the horizon and see what happened. If Thing never reached it, what would it matter? There would be adventures out there, there would be people who had been to the horizon and were on their way back. There would be other Things who had seen and done what he had. And somewhere out there Thing might meet his mother and father.
So he packed a knapsack and put in it - his medal, his book, and a cup his parents had given him. Everything he needed for a new life.
Just in case his mother and father came back while he was away, Thing left them a note:
Dear Mother and Father. Gone to see the world, I won’t be gone forever. Wait on me, I’ll be back when I get to the horizon.
And as Thing slipped down the mountainside for the last time, he whistled a little tune his parents had taught him. And although he was walking on his own, he felt that somewhere, somehow, someone was watching over him and he felt warm inside.
bobby stevenson 2014