Sunday, February 2, 2014

Livin' Like Charlie: A Tale

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Denzell. He lived in a town with his mom and grandma. The town was on the water and had a big bridge to another land. It should have been a very happy, rich place.

One day, Denzell's dad came by and picked up his mom. They gave him a strangely tight hug, told them they loved him and went off. He thought they were acting odd but soon forgot about it. He got out his book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", and began to read. It made him think. He asked his grandma why they lived like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with so many people in their family in one house and no one lived in castles like he kinda remembered when he was little. Grandma sat him down by the open oven that they use to keep warm. Their heater had broken from the very cold winter. They didn't have the money to pay for their heat and there was no one to help them pay for it, so they lived with no warm water to wash with and sat around the oven for warmth. She looked at him in his dirty clothes - there was no laundromat nearby and they didn't have the money for a washer. The cold water was much too cold to hand wash clothes in often. She looked at him and with her teary eyes, told him the tale.

"Many years ago, everyone in the town lived in beautiful castles.Until the trolls came.

The trolls lived outside the town - they would never live in the town.They thought they were too good for that. The trolls only understood money and never helped the townspeople. They hated the people and wanted them out of the town because they wanted it. They were also afraid the people would find out that they had made the town into a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory town and had stolen everything from the people.

They told the people that they could give them a lot of money if they signed a paper about their castles and they would ask for a little money each month in return. They all signed. The king of the land didn't stop the trolls. The trolls were giving him money to let them have the people sign the papers about their castles.

The trolls came by for their money each month. But each month, the trolls told the people they owed more and more money, their light eyes glistening with greed. Many people couldn't pay. So the trolls took their castles, forcing the people to move in with other people in their families or to leave the town. The trolls wanted ALL the castles, so the town could become a place just for the trolls and all their money.

The town used to help people pay to heat their homes or help you  pay for their castle. The trolls made sure the king did what he was told and took away all the help. The trolls made sure all the laws put many of the townspeople in jail, especially dads. When trolls got old, they were sent to castles full of old people until they died. The townspeople tried to keep their old people at home with their children. The trolls gated their castles off from each other. They lived in fear. The townspeople all knew each others' families and watched out for each other.

Every four years, when the townspeople elected a king, the trolls got some of the crooked townspeople who worked for the town to cheat in the election. They didn't want a king who would help the people, so they wrote the name of king who would help them and put it in the voting boxes. They even got one of the kings put in jail for a very long time. He had stolen from the people, it was true, but they did it to make sure no one knew that the trolls stole more and had been stealing for years.

The trolls would meet on the outskirts of the town and plot and scheme. Their hearts were black. Trolls never laugh, except to laugh AT other people. Trolls never have a happy day. They want everyone to be unhappy like them. They take more and more money, but never can be happy.
The trolls paid the judges from the town and from far away to be sure the people didn't get any justice. The trolls were stealing the water from the people of the town and the surrounding towns, their land, their art, and their precious island. The old people who used to work for the town had saved a little money each week when they were young, so they would have it for when they were old. The trolls saw how big that pot was. They wanted that too! The trolls wanted the castles the old people lived in. They lied and told the old people they were going to fix up the castles, then wouldn't let them come back in.

Trolls blamed the townspeople for their own stealing. Now how was that? The town newspaper always blamed the people, while the trolls set them up and stole from them. The people themselves began to believe these lies. When in truth, the trolls had been stealing for years and no one from the faraway kingdom who watched over all the towns stopped them. The townspeople are kind and don't understand that it was never them. We are good people who have slowly, quietly had everything taken from us."

And the grandma looked at the little boy. She said, "That is why your mother and father are not home today. They want their castles back, the land, the water, the island, the seniors' money and the art. Denzell, they went off to fight today. They went to fight for you and your brothers' and sisters' and cousins' futures. The children in the surrounding towns have started to ask their parents these same questions you asked. They used to believe the trolls...until the trolls started to steal from them. The trolls must be taken down, by any means necessary, so children from this town and the surrounding towns may live in peace and equality. This town's values of sharing, caring, and taking care of each other are so much better than the empty greed of the trolls. Your mom and dad and I hope your children will never know what it was like to live like Charlie."


This story is purely fictional. Of course.

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