It had been several months since Thing had last seen his home but, it didn’t deter him from two things: one, was to find the horizon that always seemed to lie just over the next hill. The other was to see his parents again; his mother and father who had left his cave one day and never returned - but Thing knew that didn’t mean it was forever.
What was meant would eventually happen - and that was the kind of thinking that Thing liked to hold in his head. That didn’t mean everything that happened was good. Hadn’t the kids in school made his life a little harder because he didn’t look like them? Thing might have looked different but he had a huge heart and that’s what mattered in life, at least that’s what his mother had told him.
Thing had found that some of the nicest looking kids had the darkest hearts and Thing was still trying to understand that. But, it was like his mum had said, ‘Hate don’t get passed through the genes’. She was right, you had to learn those things.
One day, when Thing was walking through a real nice valley, he was sure he could see his father up ahead, staring back.
“Dad!” Shouted Thing, and as he waved his little heart out, his Dad waved back.
Thing ran and ran until his heart was almost bursting, and the faster he ran, so did his father. It was only when Thing got closer did he realise it was a reflecting glass, a mirror - they called it. He had only been waving at himself.
So that was what Thing really looked like. His family didn’t have a reflecting glass in the cave and the school didn’t allow mirrors.
Sure he didn’t look like the other kids but he looked like his Dad, in a handsome sort of way. If something happened to this planet and
Thing and one of the other kids were the only two beings alive, then neither would be right or wrong and both would be beautiful. Thing decided it was only ‘cause there were more of one type than another, that made those folks think they were in the right about everything.
Thing had been brought up to believe you were your brother/sister’s keeper - but just ‘cause you felt that way didn’t mean that other folks did. But if being selfish was the point of existence – then what was the point in trying? You’d only be expecting the other folks to be more selfish than you. But if the point of existence was not to hurt others and care for them, then all you’d be expecting is more love and help.
Thing, there and then, decided that from now on, he’d live by his own rules. Ones that didn’t involve hurting others, or judging them by the way they looked or being selfish, and if he was the only one who thought that being your brother/sister’s keeper was the right way – then that’s how he’d live.
He knew that life wouldn’t get any easier thinking like that, but it hadn’t been all that easy up until now and he was still walking and talking, thank you very much.
So for the first time, Thing looked at himself in the reflecting glass and smiled, because he liked what he saw in his eyes.
And in the reflecting glass he found someone, he had never seen before, a friend. Himself.
bobby stevenson 2014