Chapter 2. When I was young, I used to hang about on a sunny hillside with my many brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces. We had a nice time, hanging around in the sunshine, turning slowly to make sure we got an even colour, making desultory conversation about the growing season and how Aunt May’s botritis was coming along. Ours was an old and distinguished lineage, and our family had inhabited the hillside for centuries. We had creatures as our caretakers – pale, strange looking beasts with long branch-like appendages that allowed them to move from place to place and to move objects with them. The creatures who cared for us would make sure we had plenty of food and drink as we lazed in the sun, and every day in summer we would be treated to a cold shower in the heat of the day. Oh, it was bliss to live such a privileged life.
One day, quite suddenly, life changed for us and has never been the same again. The creatures who had ministered to our needs rose up against us! I still want to weep when I think of that black day, but I have no tears now. It was when we had lain in the sun for long enough to have our colours just right, and we were beginning to think lascivious thoughts about spring and the bursting forth of seed and whatnot. It was quite the topic of conversation among we younger folk whose experience of these pleasures was necessarily limited. But the creatures came before we reached full maturity. Sad, sad day that it was. They mowed us down with their ghastly, grizzly machines, ripping us from our parent’s arms and throwing us into baskets, where we were packed so tight we couldn’t breathe. Oh, the anguish, the grief, the desolation they left in their wake!
The violence with which we were treated was too much for many of the more delicate constitutions among us, and many of my kin lost their lives on that black day. Packed tightly in our baskets, the creatures moved us to a new place, a dark and scary place where there was no sky and no sun. And then the true horror began.