When Kidders rule the Land

September 29, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

The Ultimate Wealthy Inhabitant sat in the heavily cushioned, elegant chair in a gorgeous room that held spaces for 338 well cushioned seats. The luxurious room was a work place, from which all the Land and all its Inhabitants were ruled and controlled. Those Inhabitants sitting in those chairs, designing the policies and the laws of the Land were all called Kidders – you know, beings who are usually only joking around, making things up to get you excited and then – crash! – down comes all your hopes and ideals and it’s very funny for a Kidder, even if not so good for you.

What mattered was that the Kidders and their Chief Kidder, that wealthy Inhabitant to whom we have just referred (they call him “Chief”) were having a good time and the other Inhabitants of the Land were well off or not, depending on what life had been designated to them.

Because balance in all things is necessary for a well-run Land, it was the case that some Inhabitants were given opportunities to excel in their lives, to have some wealth and privilege and comfort, while others had less and still others had almost nothing. The Three Levels of Society were: Blessed were those well off; Midriff for those comfortable but far from rich and Undeserving for those at the bottom.

The Undeserving were a grumbling lot; some had severe disabilities, often living in the worst conditions, the poorest and most abused. They were considered lazy and unattractive and their calls for government support had lately raised considerable concern by the other Levels of Society.

“We must have balance!” exclaimed one of the Kidders. “It only stands to reason that the Level of Society with the least sense of humour would deserve to be where they are.”

Another Kidder asked, “How have they infiltrated the communication lines to let others know about their claims of suffering? Those broken communications lines can never be closed again and the other levels will know about them and each other.” 

“It’s outrageous!” declared yet another. “They all know this is their lot in life. All that is taught to them in their early years. Their suffering is their way to support the whole by being the balance – the foundation, really, of the rest.”

“Indeed, it is like an honour,” a fourth Kidder said in an authoritative voice. He sat nearest the Chief and had the clearest vision of how Inhabitant Society worked so well, so evenly that a disruption from the bottom could not be tolerated.

This was a worry, for the lives of the Three Levels had been traditionally and for many good reasons kept separate. None knew on one Level about the lives of those on the other Levels. Thus were out-of-control ambitions quelled and a tranquil peace had reigned throughout as long as anyone knew or remembered. Work was done; everywhere was kept clean; each Inhabitant had what it needed and, in many cases, better than that.

Quite mysteriously in this Time of Perfection, there were rebels, unbelievably disruptive about the finesse in which this Land was ruled and darting somehow between the Levels all the way to the bottom. There, the rebels were aghast to see the poor wretches without any of life’s comforts, ruined in all their enterprises, often ill and damaged.

Control of the Land had been such a given for so long that the Kidders assumed there was no danger of rebellion, so there were very few Enforcement Inhabitants.

The Chief rose from his chair and instantly all was quiet.

“We will have to commandeer some Inhabitants from the Midriff,” he proclaimed. “There are ancient protocols for capture and restraint of rebels.”

A tremulous hush fell upon the company. Such protocols were no more than myths and to rekindle them was a terrifying idea, though perhaps not as terrifying as the chaos that might ensue if the rebels were left to rage.

The Chief was about to issue instructions on the matter of collecting Inhabitants for enforcement when a young, weedy voice called from the very back of the room: “Wait!” it urged. “I have an idea!”

A shocked stillness gripped the room and the faces and the Chief’s face turned to the young new Kidder.

“We can tell them we agree to help the Undeserving, that we’ve been planning to do something for them for a very long time.”

A rustle in the room, not quite ready to object but willing to hear this out.

Braver in the acquiescence, the youthful Kidder continued: “We tell all the Levels that we will work with the rebels and the poor Inhabitants and we just need time to finish the plans.”

Waiting – ready to hear: “But how long is time?” the weedy voice asked. “How long is a line? Not so long but they will be willing to believe and to wait!”

The Chief understood it first: “But so long it will never happen until people forget again! Brilliant!” and he laughed a Chief’s laugh.

So did all the rest, rocking in their chairs until their laughter made the very chandeliers ring.


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