Sometimes Thing grew suspicious of situations. Not often, but enough to get him worried. Take snow for instance - to him it seemed as if the Great Thing in the sky was trying to cover up its mistakes. Snow made everything look neat and tidy.
It was the way that Thing used to clean up his part of the cave when his parents got fed up with the mess. Thing would just gather up all the stuff that was lying around and throw it to the back of the cave.
Everything looked so much better after that. Except his family knew Thing too well, and they would gather his stuff, throw it out of the cave and tell him to put it all back in a proper order.
And it was the snow that gave Thing the strangest idea he had had in a long time. Sometimes he grew tired of people moving away from him or crossing the street as he approached to say hello.
Why did people have to behave that way? Why did people think that different looking meant an ugly heart? Why did people think that beauty meant a good heart?
So Thing went into his parent’s room and found his mother’s makeup and just like the snow, Thing thought that perhaps covering up his face with makeup would make the people stop crossing over and perhaps believe that he really did have a good heart.
Thing put on white creams, and red lines, and black dust and then he looked in the mirror. He was more like People now, than before the onslaught of his face. Satisfied, Thing decided to take a trip down the mountainside, across the Creek and walk into town.
Two drunken guys waved over to him, “Hey, ain’t that Bert?” One of them shouted.
So Thing waved back. That was the first time that someone had waved to him in the longest of times.
If someone had been standing close to Thing, they would have seen through all the cream and the red and the black, a smile that also included a twinkle in his eyes.
Thing then walked through a little market in the middle of town and folks either smiled or ignored him, but what they didn’t do was run or pull their children to their sides then hurry off.
Just as thing crossed the Town Square, he saw a little creature, not a Thing, or a People but something else; folks grabbed their children and crossed the road to avoid the poor little creature.
Thing walked over to say ‘Hi’ but the creature looked at Thing and saw a People rather than a Thing and ran into the shadows. The little creature had been attacked by that kind in the past and didn’t like to hang around and be hurt.
Thing couldn’t understand why he was accepted by People now but shunned by another shadow dweller.
Then Thing caught his own reflection in the window and realised that he had lost an opportunity to have a friend because he had tried to be something he wasn’t.
The makeup was only skin deep and People had been too ready to accept it, but he’d lost a pal in the process.
Thing washed the ‘snow’ from his face and wandered back home.
bobby stevenson 2013