Once upon a time, in the land of Hush-A-Bye, around about the wondrous days of yore, they came across a kind of
box, bound up with chains and locked with locks and labeled “Kindly do not touch; it’s war.”
A decree was issued round about, and all with a flourish and a shout and a gaily-colored mascot tripping lightly
on before. Don’t fiddle with this deadly box, or break the chains, or pick the locks. And please don’t ever play about
The children understood. Children happen to be good and they were just as good around the time of yore. They
didn’t try to pick the locks or break into that deadly box. They never tried to play about with war. Mommies didn’t
either; sisters, aunts, grannies neither. They were quiet, and sweet, and pretty in those wondrous days of yore.
Well, very much the same as now, not the ones to blame somehow for opening up that deadly box of war.
But someone did. Someone battered in the lid and spilled the insides out across the floor. A kind of bouncy,
bumpy ball made up of guns and flags and all the tears, and horror, and death that comes with war. It bounced
right out and went bashing all about, bumping into everything in store. And what was sad and most unfair was
that it didn’t really seem to care much who it bumped, or why, or what, or for.
It bumped the children mainly. And I’ll tell you this quite plainly, it bumps them every day and more, and more, and
leaves them dead, and burned, and dying, thousands of them sick and crying. Cause when it bumps, it’s really
Now there’s a way to stop the ball. It isn’t difficult at all. All it takes is wisdom, and I’m absolutely sure that we can
get it back into the box, and bind the chains, and lock the locks. But no one seems to want to save the children
Well, that’s the way it all appears, cause it’s been bouncing round for years and years. In spite of all the wisdom â
€˜wiz since those wondrous days of yore and the time they came across the box, bound up with chains and
locked with locks, and labeled “Kindly do not touch; it’s war.”
(written by Lascelles Abercrombie)