“The Wall” / A Memorable Fancy #177

There is a wall around our country. Who built it, we don’t know. Perhaps one of our ancient kings, or perhaps one of Theirs. By night They attack the wall, rip out stones and fling them across at us. Several of our people who lived too near the wall have been injured. How great a power They must have, flinging huge stones as if they were pebbles!

By day, we rush to repair the wall, replace the stones, apply mortar and hope it will dry before nightfall. If there is time to spare we add more stones, more mortar.

Repairing the wall occupies most of our time. Only a few people can be spared for planting and the harvest, none for schooling our children. We are undernourished and know little more than the legends of our great kings, how they defended the wall in times long past.

For the long term, our prospects do not seem good. Each day we repair the wall less well, less sturdily. One of us thought he heard digging sounds. What if They tunnel under the wall? How could we defend ourselves against that, and defend the wall itself at the same time?

Or what if we just let them in?


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