Once upon a time there was a factory called Redbeers, in the happy land of Peacenplenty. The workers at the factory made toys called Loyal Companions. Everyone loved these toys, even the grownups, and since everyone had time for play (which is just how it should be in a happy land), people played with their Loyal Companions. And that was very good, because the Loyal Companions got better and better, the more they were loved and played with.
The people loved their Loyal Companions so much that they wanted more of them to play with, so the factory made more, and everyone was happy.
But one day a shadow fell across the land of Peacenplenty. There was no more peace, and the only thing there was plenty of was fear. There was not enough money for the people to keep living in their houses and getting food to eat, and the people were afraid. They found it very hard to be happy, and sometimes they were angry. And they worried a lot, and spent all their time trying to make things better, and they had no happiness or time left to play with their Loyal Companions.
And so they began trying to find other people to take their Loyal Companions from them, because they were sorry to see their Loyal Companions suffering from lack of play and love and food. But most everyone else had the same problem. They had Loyal Companions they couldn’t take care of anymore. So another factory opened for business, a place called The Lethers, where people could take their Loyal Companions to be ‘vaporized’, which was a fancy word no one really wanted to know the meaning of.
So the people began taking many of their Loyal Companions to the The Lethers, and after they were vaporized the Loyal Companions were placed into trash bags, and piles of them were loaded into trucks and taken far away from the towns of Peacenplenty, so that no one would see them, and remember and be sad.
The people hoped that, one day soon, things would get better in Peacenplenty, and they could have Loyal Companions again.
But the Redbeers factory people did not care that there were not enough people who could love and play with Loyal Companions anymore, and they kept making them, just as many as they had before. They did not care about the Loyal Companions, vaporized and in bags, which the people tried so hard not to think of. They did not care about the Loyal Companions, and they did not care about the people who were sad, and they kept making more, and more, and more Loyal Companions. They wanted the money they got when people bought Loyal Companions, and they were greedy.
And the people could not resist the Loyal Companions, especially since they reminded them of a happier time, and so they got new Loyal Companions. Often they got new ones even when there were older ones which people were trying to give them. But because the shadow still fell across their lands, they still could not play with them and feed them and love them very well, and so many of the new Loyal Companions were taken to The Lethers and placed in bags. And this went on and on…
Pretty soon there was not much room left for the bags, and bags began piling up closer to the towns. And the people could see them, and could not forget, no matter how they tried. And the people became very, very sad.
But one day they began to understand that Redbeers, which had long ago been a good factory, was now doing a bad thing, and should just stop making Loyal Companions. The shadow was something that no one could do anything about, but maybe something could be done about Redbeers. So they went and asked the Redbeers people to stop making more Loyal Companions for just a while, until the shadow moved away from their land.
But the Redbeers people said no, they would not stop. They wanted more money.
And then, because this is my story and I can have it end however I want, the people vaporized the greedy Redbeers, tried as hard as they could to take care of the Loyal Companions who were left in Peacenplenty, and waited for the shadow to move away.
And while they waited, they made a very good plan to make sure that this would never happen again, even if another shadow came, and they wrote it all down for their children and their children’s children, so no one would ever forget.
And after a while, the shadow went away, and the people had houses to live in and food to eat and time to play and love to give, and they shared all of those things with their Loyal Companions. And everyone lived happily ever after.