Australia Day for Beginners Part 1
Once upon a time there was this enormous kindergarten in a very nice suburb. It was the best kindergarten anywhere and every kid went here. And the best thing about it was that it was free. Yep, no fees and the kindy was open all hours too. No rush to get there by a certain time. Plus it was so big there was lots of every toy you could think of and heaps of climbing frames and see saws and sand pits. There were many supervisors too, all looking after the kids in their area of the kindergarten.
Tucked away in one corner of the kindy was a big old sandpit. It wasn’t the biggest sandpit and it wasn’t even the best but the kids in that sandpit loved it. Sure there was a big area of the sandpit that was always in the sun and very hot. And there was another bit that always seemed to be wet from the gardener’s sprinkler but the kids had sorted themselves out so there was always lots of space and even though the toys were basic there was lots of them too.
The sandpit supervisor was old school. She gave the kids some basic rules and then pretty much left them alone. Occasionally there was a fight and even some blood spilt over a toy or somebody wanting somebody else to be only their friend and not so and so’s friend but generally the kids in the sandpit got along just fine.
But over in another part of the enormous kindergarten there was another sandpit and the supervisor there was full of new ideas. There were lots of kids in her sandpit so she thought it best to have lots of rules and be forever interfering and lecturing and reprimanding her kids. She also told her kids that they were special because they were her kids but that they were often wicked too. The supervisor also said that as her kids were special they had a duty to tell other kids about the supervisor and their sandpit.
The supervisor told them that maybe they should take a walk around the kindy and see the kids in the other sandpits and tell them how good their supervisor was and how things were a bit crowded in their sandpit over there. And how maybe it would be a good idea if they gave their sandpit to them.
One day the travelling kids walked around a bushy hedge and saw the big old sandpit. By now the traveling kids had seen and were playing in a quite a few sandpits. The big old sandpit did not look that great but it was big, really big. The travelling kids always seemed to want more sandpits no matter how many they took. This time they wanted more because there were some other kids they did not like and they wanted them to be far away in another sandpit as they did not like eating their little lunch with them. That and it apparently made their supervisor happy.
Of course the kids in the big old sandpit were a little scared and unhappy about the arrival of the travelling kids but they did their best to make them welcome. After all there was plenty of sandpit to share. Their supervisor was largely silent about the travelling kids so they thought this was best.
On the other hand the traveling kids supervisor was very clear about her rules. The travelling kids supervisor saw the sandpit largely unused and empty of kids so it needed to be filled.
And so the travelling kids took over more and more of the sandpit, pushing the original sandpit kids away from their favourite bits and crowding them all together.
If and when the sandpit kids fought the travelers they would always lose because the travelling kids were tricky and unfair. Their scissors were sharper and they had water pistols and there were always more of them.
Soon the sandpit kids gave up and went and stayed in the part of the pit that the travelling kids did not want because those parts were too dry or too wet. They withdrew and grieved. They waited for word from their supervisor who told them to be patient for the sandpit was theirs but one day it would be shared fairly. The sandpit comforted them but still they grieved for a long time.