The Urban Jungle explained to a Kid

“Mommy, what’s wrong with me?”

“You’re sick, sweetie pie!”

“What’s my illness?”

“Your lungs aren’t doing well!”

“But I’m breathing. They teach us at school that lungs make us breath. And I’m still breathing. See?”

“School doesn’t teach you everything, dearie. Listen to me. If you stay in treatment, you stay with mommy and daddy for a very long time,” says the brokenhearted mother whose little angel suffers from lung cancer and is in his final stages.

There’s a look of disbelief on the seven-year-old’s face.

“Mommy, what’s wrong with me?”

“You’re sick, sweetie pie!”

“What’s my illness?”

“Your lungs aren’t doing well!”

“But I’m breathing. They teach us at school that lungs make us breath. And I’m still breathing. See?”

“School doesn’t teach you everything, dearie. Listen to me. If you stay in treatment, you stay with mommy and daddy for a very long time,” says the brokenhearted mother whose little angel suffers from lung cancer and is in his final stages.

There’s a look of disbelief on the seven-year-old’s face. Then, suddenly, fear strikes and his eyes well up with un-spilled tears. He finally says, hesitantly, “Is daddy making me sick? Hospital people and friends from school say daddy’s factories are making all of us very sick.”

“How?”

“Air pollution, toxic waste, smog, ozone problems, animal testing… I don’t know what it means but I keep hearing these words every time dad’s name comes up. Can you explain them to me, mommy?”

“Daddy alone cannot do all these things. He has friends who do the same things.”

“And who should stop them?”

“Mommy and her friends, you and your friends, everybody… we’re called ‘community’.”

“But sometimes you and daddy stop fighting and start laughing. Who helps me when things change?”

“That’s why you need ministers and law makers to help you. It’s like when mommy and daddy make a mistake and get scolded by grandma and grandpa. Adults make mistakes too.”

“But what if grandma and grandpa are out, or dead, what happens to me then?”

“You’re thinking too much my love. Have some rest. I’ll bring you your meds and Mr. Knuckles.”

The whole time mommy cared for her little one; fed him, sang for him, and played with him and Mr. Knuckles… this whole time, she kept thinking, “I married a fool!”

A fool climbing the social ladder at other people’s expense, even his child’s… the bastard! He’s using her kid’s dark fate as a tool to fund his business as we speak.

A fool on a hill, a half-blind man, a fool who’s losing sight of what’s important in life, a half-cannibal enjoying his precious dog-eat-dog world… that’s when a striking thought hits her. “When will he get enough? Tut-tut, that’s not the right question. I should wonder if he’ll ever get enough.”

Her man was the son of a beggar at birth. In his early adulthood, he worked as a factory worker to keep flesh on his bones. Today, he owns half of the country’s industrial plants. He was poor alright, but he never had a poor appetite.

 

Photo credit: The Fool On A Hill by Sabbian Paine via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

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