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It was early morning in that time between late winter and early spring. The time when there is a chill in the air in the morning and the small hint of new buds on trees in the late afternoon. When it feels like time has paused for a moment to catch its breath before venturing on and creating new life. New expectations and new hope. This was the time that the man arrived in the city. He had traveled from a faraway place because he had heard great stories of how this place had once been. He came to see if any of that beauty was left. And if it had gone, where had it gone and was there hope for its return?
The early morning mist blew lightly over the moss-covered steps. A gentle caress of those places where great men had passed long ago. The long thin vines dangled from the trees and crept across the yard. The grass was overgrown from neglect. Many of the large windows of the house were broken and the curtains were torn and faded. They blew out through the broken windows as if waving at the man in greeting. Bidding him welcome to this grand home. The house seemed to be deserted but the family still lived there. There were no more parties with lots of presents around. There was no more laughter or smiles from the children.
He saw small frail people wearing rags. These were the people that lived in the large house. The house was a large white house with pillars and a flat roof. The rooms were different colors. One was red and one was blue. There was also one room that was round. The wallpaper was torn and much of the furniture seemed to have been broken up and used for firewood, tools and other things. There were places on the walls where fine artwork had once hung. Those masterpieces were long gone as well, either burned, sold or stolen. It filled the man with sadness.
When the man left this house, he walked for a while. Then he saw a long cloudy lake. It was dark with many leaves floating on it. It was not natural. The ones that came before had made it and had shaped it into a long rectangle. At one end there was a very large square pillar with a pointed top. At the other end of the lake was a building with lots of pillars like the house he had seen. This building didn’t have a front wall so you could walk right in. Inside there was a large statue of a man seated on a great throne. The man knew who the statue was of but he showed no emotion when he saw the large crack in the face of the statue.
The time of the man’s visit was growing short so he went to the last building he was going to visit. Like the other buildings he had seen, it was white with pillars across the front. However, to reach this building you had to climb many steps. The vines had crept inside this building. Many things had been broken by the little people. It appeared as if they had been angry at this building.
He walked through and around the rubble. He stopped at a pile of broken glass and stared down at it. Then he pulled out a very old document. The only word he could make out on the faded parchment was the word “independence.”
After the man had seen all of this, he knew the little people that had lived in this land had thrown away what they had been given through selfishness, or greed, or just by not working together for the future. The man knew there was no more hope. He shed a single tear and faded away.