Friday, December 15, 2017

Microstory 735: Credos, Convention Eight: Cohesion

There once was an island in the ocean, remotely distant from other land. On it lived a peoples of fishing and adventuring. For generations, they had traveled all over the world, but they wanted to find a place to call home, so that no matter how far away they ventured, they could all be from one location. To mark their home, they decided to build monuments to their ancestors. Unfortunately, their island, which was otherwise paradise, did not have the stones necessary to make this a reality. A neighboring island did have the rocks, but they were too large to carry on their boats. A small tribe lived on this island, and they were happy to help in any way they could. The wisest of them was the matriarch of the tribe. She came to the stone pits, where the adventurers were arguing over what to do, and spoke to them. “No single boat can transport even but one of these stones to your island. But many of your boats can.” “But how can we do this?” the adventurers asked. “If we try to carry it across many boats, they will just drift apart, and the stones will fall.” You must find a way to make the boats as one. You must find a way to keep them from drifting.” Of course, now we know that they could have made a single, very large boat to transport the stones. But back then, the only boats they understood how to build were lightweight narrow vessels. So they came up with a plan, using the tools they had at their disposal. They tied the boats together, to form a sort of grid platform.

The platform boat seemed great, but then the adventurers still had a problem. They realized that they would also need to to get the stones to the water in the first place. They could roll them on logs once they reached the plains. On the beach, they could then use sleds, but the trouble was getting them through the forest. The matriarch of the neighboring tribe spoke again. “You must work together to do this. You must look inward, and at each other, and find some commonality.” They looked inward, and at each other, but they saw nothing that could help. Then a little girl tribe member noticed something, and so she spoke to the group as well. “We walk on two legs, and use our arms for balance. One foot forward, then it holds, and the second foot comes forward after that. Then the first foot again, then the second.” They marveled at her wisdom, and found a way to reapply this to their problem. They tied robes to the top of each stone, and lifted it up so that it was vertical. They broke apart into teams, pulling and releasing in unison, so that the stone was essentially walking through the forest. And so the stones were carried through the forest, over the plains, down the beach, and onto the water. They were taken across the strait, and onto their own island, where the process could continue. The task took many months, and many months after that to carve and erect the stones. There stood their greatest leaders in history, guarded by a barrier. In the middle was a monument dedicated to their tribal friends to the West. It was the least they could do to repay for the help.

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