The Box

July 25, 2008

Once upon a time there was a box
and no one ever opened the box
because they didn’t know what was in it.
They put it on top of a very high cupboard
where no one could see it
and it wouldn’t be a bother to anyone.

The box waited.

It waited all day and all night.
And all night and all day.
and all day and all night

for years and years and years

until one day, they –
the people in the house
had a child.

The box waited.

It waited all day and all night
and all night and all day
and all day and all night

for years and years and years

until one day
the child
grew into a boy
of 12 years old.

and the boy went exploring.

He explored in the kitchen and the hallway
and the laundry and the bathroom,
and the living room and the bedrooms.

He explored under the stairs and in the garden
and in the shed and in the garage
and under the beds and inside the wardrobes

He explored whenever and wherever he could
and when he thought he could explore no more
he went into the spare room –

and that was when he found the box.

The box was on the top of the wardrobe
where the boys parents had left it
and for some reason –
though the boy was pretty brave as boys go
he didn’t want to open it.

The boy thought of all the things
the box might contain.

He thought it might contain –

a crocodile with yellow fangs
or an annaconda with a plan.

The more he looked at it
the more he felt certain that it might contain
something that he wouldn’t want to find –

like a monster made of cardboard boxes
or a monster made of sharp knives
or a monster made of shadowy creatures
or a monster made of lots of eyes

And the box waited
and the boy waited
and the box waited
and the boy waited

until at long last neither the boy or the box could wait any longer
and one night – when everyone else had gone to bed
The boy walked from his room
into the room with the box
and put a chair against the wardrobe
and stood on the chair
and reached up to the box
and slowly,
very, very slowly
using a blunt knife to cut the tape
he opened the box up….

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