Trudging Along

The little children, all huddled together dutifully following a distant leader (on a path made by wisemen long before they were born), when not parroting the confusing signs that line their byway, recount tales from their past and their longings for a better future to those who will listen, in an attempt to distract themselves and each other along their monotonous way.

On occasion, when there is a lull amongst their chatter, some of the little children notice movement and light far off in the dark jungles that flank the safety of their common trail, though their views be obscured by the fanciful adornments they’ve fashioned to make themselves feel unique and special. 

It is from these murky remembrances that legends, myths and tales of all manner are created to entertain and mystify the troupe when they all finally rest from their exhausting days journey, though many distract themselves while walking when others are not watching.

Though they rarely stray from the safety of their own group, they’ve had some scary experiences before, like the little girl who mistakenly went too far ahead with the crazy boy, or those who’ve gazed too intently at the uncharted lands that surround them.

For this, they feel much shame and pledge to live as the placards that surround them instruct, they put away their childish fantasies and validate each other’s pretensions and lack of understanding, though they remain as little children.

They imagine people they’d like to to be like near the front of their band, and attempting the spells they’ve memorized from the strange words given them, they try to convince those around them they are who they are not.

Surprisingly the other little children believe their contrived fictions, though they’ve all tacitly made a pact to always hide the truth from each other. 

Those, from their own number who fall from their ranks, are either forgotten, dismissed as fools or vilified to form their group into one unified mind, though unwittingly their bond is one of fear. 

When a little child’s time is finished on the path, the other little children feel so bad and attempt to express things they’ve heard of called truth, love, empathy and compassion, as a flood of strange and painful feelings envelopes them. 

Not knowing how to act, they remember some of the more confusing messages they read along their path, and hope that the foreign words have some impact on the other’s. 

Though the little children could never possibly know or understand, the messages that they’ve seen all around them were written by men and women who ventured into the mystical and frightening forests that they’ve spent their entire childish lives trying to avoid.

The wise men themselves did not place the signs, but those who intended to turn their wisdom into a confusing but effective tool to keep those on the path as little children, no matter their age.

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