Three directions you must know: Out, Too Deep, and the slightly curved Goodness that extends forever and gives our lives meaning. Out is the direction of peril and food. Too Deep is oblivion. Some can be brought back from the deep, but they come back as food. The Goodness is the warm thin crust between the two. As you know, our situation is critical. We’ve let you see the food, measure it, weigh it, smell and thump it for soundness. You know how much it takes to live. You know there’s not enough, not nearly. Sacrifices follow. Most of us will not survive, except as food, not even if we fast, find more, waste none, lose nothing. But we will not all perish, and that is love. We can’t think of reproducing at this time unless we give birth to food, not another set of teeth. How would we raise an infant now? On regurgitant, surely, but regurgitated what? You’re too young to understand the seasons, but between Famine and Plenty, this is the season that tests our methods. When forays Out no longer produce, we press against the frontiers of the perilous unfamiliar. Our soldiers aren’t welcome when they venture out to skirmish and hunt, aren’t welcome when they come back wounded, trailing their scent, leading others to our tunnels. We prize them all, but not as individuals. This is not the season to surrender to the fatal flaw of infatuation. You’ve been trained to seal the tunnels and good soldiers understand. It’s natural for your body to resonate to their pleas, as it vibrates in the presence of food, or rain, or a passage to the sun, but they would do the same if you were the threat, because it is right and points toward the good.

Copyright ©January 27, 2007 David Hodges

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