Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called The First World. Although its vassal’s thought of themselves as enlightened, the truth was they were selfish and cold hearted. They always wanted to look good and following the saying ‘Clothes make the Man’, they were buying expensive clothes made by the poor people in The Third World. They ignored the fact that those people were treated like slaves and they would not be able to buy a button of the shirt they made with their salaries even if they worked 19 hours a day, 7 days a week. Well, it is hard to think of someone far, far away if you are not considerate to people closer to you. And they weren’t. They would let their neighbours starve in the name of some abstract idea that made only a few of them rich.
They cared more for their pets. When they took the dogs for a walk, they didn’t bother to tidy up after them, even though they knew that children played in those parks even after their pets used them as toilets. They knew that dog’s poo could make the little ones ill with heartworms, roundworms, tapeworms or other diseases with weird names like parvo, corona, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis or campylobacteriosis, which would cause the children who would put everything in their mouth because that was their way of learning fever, muscle aches, headaches, vomiting or diarrhoea. They wouldn’t collect the dog’s poo even from the streets, so as soon as one stepped out of their homes, they had to watch their step if they didn’t want their expensive shoes to be soiled. That was a part of a grand plan of the regime. If people were more concerned with mundane everydayness, they wouldn’t concentrate on evil doings of the economic top.
So the blindness wasn’t really people’s fault. They were programmed by the world’s leaders. The constant presence of TV screen served as a great channel to persuade commoners of what they needed in their lives, what was expected of them and most of all, the information that reached them was carefully censored so they would hardly learn about the slavery in The Third World, about the real goals of the major corporations and about the fact that they were being exploited. If they knew about it, they would get really mad. If the good people of the kingdom could get their hands on the book No Logo by Naomi Klein, they could wake up from their zombie-like sleep and see what was really happening around them.
Not everyone was brainwashed, especially the people who didn’t listen to the news. They were called the enemy of the state because they saw the truth. They understood the great evil that the regime represented and they were not afraid to stand up and march against it, boycott it and live lives free of consumerism.
One of them was a Little Happy Girl. She always tried to help the less fortunate, like that day, she helped to feed the hungry ones. She was feeling exhilarated. The day couldn’t have been better. It was an early spring, the grass was of fresh green colour, the trees were in buds, the air was warm. On her way home, she decided to cut through the park and enjoy the light breeze in her hair. There was a man with two little cute dogs on the leads. Both of them had diamond collars and white bows on the top of their heads. Their little legs made pitter-patter sounds. The man was holding the full poo bag.
‘What a fantastic day!’ the little girl thought to herself when suddenly, with an abrupt movement, the man tossed the bag into the bushes. The Little Happy Girl became furious. She was red in face and she was breathing heavily. The man must have felt her stare because he turned around to look at her. He could see the fury. In a few strides she was breathing words about the bins and the fines on his neck. He played blissful ignorance and the girl wished she could do something. At that moment she felt as if to feed the man from that bag he threw in the bushes but she knew she had to save her world in a peaceful manner. She understood she didn’t have superpowers to save the whole world because, anyway, there was too much to solve in her close proximity.
Later that day, after she calmed down and was able to think straight, she called the good people who knew what to do. They told her that she should never play a hero but to speak to a ranger or go to the nearest café who would call one. She would describe a perpetrator and they would find him and deal with him. They were trained to deal with the situation safely.
The Little Happy Girl felt a little bit more powerful, she wasn’t alone. She was happy again.
Zdena comes from Slovakia but has made Wales her second home, that is when she is not travelling, which she can’t live without. Two important things in her life are books and Scrabble and she also loves world cinema.