Love is in the air!

The days are getting longer and the outdoors call to those of us who live in the northern hemisphere.

Be sure to keep a book handy. You still need quiet time and what better way to fill it than with a book?

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Faerie Tale for the First Monday of September

Once upon a time there was a beautiful blue and green planet known as Earth. It was rich and flowing with life. 

The world had enough to sustain them all.

In the early years the people of the world learned to adapt the environment for their use. They apportioned jobs according to their skills. Those who were good at hunting brought home the meat and those who were good at gathering collected the berries, grains, and vegetables. 

The abundance of the world belonged to all.

Then one day someone decided to build fences around some of the land and and call it his own. If others wished to remain on the land and sup on its bounty he forced them to work for him and give him a large portion of their harvests. The deal was that the person who claimed the land would protect those who worked for him, feed them, and provide them with shelter.

The owners wore the best skins and ate the best pieces of meat. Eventually they even owned the people and fed them less. Their care of the people they owned was atrocious.

Eventually people said, hey, I'm a person just like you. You cannot own me. I will stay and work for you, but you must pay me.

The owners were reluctant to part with any of the goodies they hoarded in their store rooms, so they paid their employees only a pittance and demanded the young to work for them as well.

The children were forced into the dark depths of the world to dig out sparkling gems and metals and black coal to warm the feet of the overlords. The children lost limbs and life. All for pennies.

Other children were sent into the mills to spin the cotton and weave the cloth. They lost limbs and life. All for pennies.

The workers worked every day and long into the night. They lived in hovels, had little to eat, and no medicine when their lungs began to fail.

Mothers wailed and Fathers cried silent tears.

Eventually the workers' grumbles became louder and they gathered together and formed groups to demand better working conditions and a living wage.

The workers gathered outside the mills and mines refusing to work until there were better conditions. They were beaten on the public sidewalks, their leaders were killed, but the workers stood their ground. They wanted a better life and deserved safer working conditions.

It took years, but eventually their efforts were recognized. The government made laws that children were not allowed to work in the mines and mills. The owners were forced to pay their employees better. The smart bosses paid their employees more than required to make sure they would continue to work for them and not the competition.

The first Monday of September was designated by law as a day when the workers did not have to work and they could celebrate the freedom they had fought for and earned by standing strong.

It was a day of outdoor cooking. A feast shared among friends and neighbors. There was music and dancing. Water sports and much travel on the roads. All businesses were closed so that all the workers could appreciate the day that their forefathers efforts had brought to them.

But the greedy corporate masters did not like this. They found ways around the laws and even managed to void many laws that had been in effect since before the formation of the country. Laws that were not there to protect the workers, but rather to protect those that worshipped a deity. Those were the "Blue Laws".

The corporate masters wined and dined the law makers and "convinced" them there was a need to sell fast moving vehicles, food, toys, knick-knacks, and booze on the days which had been previously set aside to fulfil the promises the people had made to their deity. This also allowed the corporate masters to say, "Uh-huh! If you can forsake your deity to work, you can throw aside the promised day-off. Why should you have rest from your day of labor when others may need a bottle of beer or a bag of chips because they did not buy enough on one of the six other days that available to them. Instead for their convenience the lowly worker must work in his master's business while others who serve another master, doing different kind of work, can party.

And so, my precious ones, that is the story of the First Monday of September.


2 comments:

  1. You captured that well. Maybe a novella will emerge, following your other holiday-themed stories?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Janet.
      If it does become a novella it will go well with my college education, since Anthropology was one of my minors.

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