Border Incident #2

One of the articles in The Foundations Of Peace (IC#4)
Originally published in Autumn 1983 on page 43
Copyright (c)1983, 1997 by Context Institute

Scene: The Grandparents’ house.

GRANDMA: That thunder-storm is coming our way.

GRANDPA: The children can play indoors.

(BRIDGETT, who has been looking out the front door runs to a cabinet and gets coloring book and crayons.)

Cindy better hurry or she’ll get wet.

BRIDGETT: (Takes coloring book to GRANDPA.) Will you cut out two pages, Grandpa? Flowers for me and a house for Cindy?

(GRANDPA obliges, using his pocket knife.)

I wish we had a bigger box of crayons, so we could have more colors.

GRANDPA: You can make any color you want with three or four crayons.

BRIDGETT: How? GRANDPA: Look! (He illustrates.) And if you want to make – say – green,
just put the blue on easy, then yellow on top of it. For orange, put yellow on top of red. Takes
a little longer, but it’s more fun.

BRIDGETT: How do you make lavender

GRANDPA: Purple – with a soft touch.

BRIDGETT: I don’t have purple.

GRANDPA: Red on blue- real soft.

(BRIDGETT spreads the pages on the floor and starts to work, applying her new knowledge. She is so engrossed, she is only dimly aware of CINDY’s arrival.)

(CINDY joins BRIDGETT and begins humming.)

(Thunder and lightning are closer.)

GRANDPA: It’s coming right at us.

(A flash of lightning is followed in a few seconds by thunder. Rain begins. GRANDPA closes windows.)

BRIDGETT: (Continues to work without looking up.) What colors do you
want, Cindy?

CINDY: I’m thinking.

(She ponders and ponders but remains uninspired. As time passes, she becomes bored and distracted.)

(Suddenly there’s a bright flash of lightning followed immediately by a sharp clap of thunder. Wind rises, rain changes to hail, lights flicker. CINDY runs to window and stands close to GRANDMA.)

GRANDMA: What a picture that is!

(CINDY quickly returns to her paper, and on all fours reaches for the lone black
crayon. Her humming picks up again, and with abandonment to match the elements she applies vigorous and wildly haphazard strokes: up and down, round and round, back and forth. Here is a storm which cannot be contained. One very energetic stroke at last zips off her page across the floor to BRlDGETT’s, coming to a screaming halt in the middle of a flower garden – one of soft pastels: pale blues, pinks and lavenders. All motion stops; CINDY’s humming stops; her little heart all but stops. Her mouth opens but no words come. Then after the profound silence that follows…)

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