In a land far away and a time not so long ago, gold flowed freely and delicious red apples grew on every tree. Children danced in the streets and cows mooed in the fields. People whistled on their way to work.
Then a whisperer came to town. "The gold is fake," he murmured, "and those apples are genetically modified.
“Take your children inside,” he said, “trolls are on the loose. And, you better build fences around those cows. There’s wolves you know."
The people looked around, crept inside, locked their doors, stopped whistling. They peered out their curtains, watched every stranger and even their neighbors. Clouds darkened every day.
Until one day, a yellow-haired hero arose. “I’ll save you,” he called. “Follow me and we’ll be great again,” he promised.
He waved his huge sword, made of the finest, gilded cardboard, and marched through the streets.
People cracked their doors, peeked out into the streets looking this way and that, then tip toed into line behind him, nodding their heads, beginning to smile again.
Their hearts rose as they sang songs of praise to their hero, raised banners to his promises.
They didn’t listen when one little child asked, “Does his heart look a little black?”
They didn’t see him kick the cat. They ignored the vulture that rode on his shoulder.
One day, he asked them for the key to the store house ...
(to be continued)