Saturday, March 25, 2006

There was an island.  It was small but relatively comfortable.  One thousand people occupied the island.  Years ago according to the story, the owner of the island left.  

There was a bridge.  There were instruction books left for each of the thousand people.  Each instruction book was identical.  The instruction book said that the bridge led to a mainland country that was huge and provided joy to all who lived on the mainland.  Throughout the instruction book, the same instruction was repeated.  The bridge was the only way to safely reach the mainland.  It was believed that the owner of the island had left the instruction book for the benefit of the 1000 inhabitants.

However, no one on the island could actually see the mainland.  No one on the island could actually see an end to the bridge.  The water surrounding the island was invested by sharks.  Occasionally, an adventurous person would attempt to leave the island by swimming or on a makeshift boat.  Each time, the other inhabitants of the island saw that person killed by the sharks.

Occasionally, an adventurous person would attempt to leave the island by walking across the bridge.  Each time the other inhabitants saw that person disappear into the horizon.  Never once did any person who left the island by the bridge come back to the island.  No one knew for certain what had happened to any of them.

There was an engineer who lived on the island.  He said he had read the instruction book from cover to cover.  He thought some of the instructions were not being read correctly.  He didn’t believe the bridge could safely get anyone to the other side.  He believed the owner would eventually send a beautiful, huge ship to carry everyone safely to the mainland.  He believed that the people should wait for the ship.  Then, all of them would be safely transported to the mainland.    

Over the years some people tried to leave the island by water and all died.  Some people tried to leave the island using the bridge and they disappeared from view.  The people on the island were not perfect.  Occasionally, someone would kill someone else.  People died from diseases and from old age.  

After each death, the bodies would be placed next to each other near where the anticipated ship was expected to dock.  Over the years the ship never arrived.  However, with the encouragement of the engineer the remaining residents always hoped for and anticipated its arrival shortly.  Eventually, only the engineer remained on the island.  As he was dying, he laid down next to the other bodies still believing that the ship would arrive to carry all the bodies to the mainland.  (To be continued.)


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