(July 21st to 27th)

Format: Triple

…It was a slope of gap-edged fields possessed to their centres by clumps of brambles. Gates were not, and the rabbit-mined, cattle-rubbed posts leaned out and in… In the ungrazed pastures swaths of dead stuff caught their feet, and the ground beneath glistened with sweat. At the bottom of the valley a little brook had undermined its footbridge and frothed in the wreckage. But there stood great woods on the slopes beyond – old, tall, and brilliant, like unfaded tapestries against the walls of a ruined house…


This is from ‘As Easy as ABC’ in ‘A Diversity of Creatures’.

The tale describes a future world presided over by an all-powerful ‘Board of Aerial Control’. Here there is an outbreak of democracy in Chicago, which has to be swiftly suppressed. RK’s sympathies are clearly not with the democrats.

‘I’m a sister to all in affliction – just a working sister. My heart bled for you beneath your burden…Work’s the essence of life; but to expend precious unreturning vitality and real labour against imaginary danger – that is heartbreakingly absurd! If I can only teach a – a little toleration – a little ordinary kindness…’


This is from ‘The Mother Hive’ in ‘Actions and Reactions’.

To be healthy and prosperous the Hive needs selfless devotion to hard work and discipline from all the bees. But here the Wax Moth has tricked her way inside the gates, and is beginning to spread subversion and corruption. This Hive is doomed, and the only hope is for the loyal bees to swarm around the Queen and start afresh elsewhere.

‘…I came to you from Kansas, wavin’ the tail o’ friendship to all and sundry, an’ in the name of the uncounted millions o’ pure-minded, high-toned horses now struggling towards the light of freedom, I say to you, rub noses with us in our sacred and holy cause. The power is yourn. Without you, I say, man the Oppressor cannot mnove himself form place to place. Without you he cannot reap, he cannot sow, he cannot plough’…


This is from ‘A Walking Delegate’ in ‘The Day’s Work’.

A group of horses are talking together on a Vermont hillside. One of them, a lazy dangerous animal from Kansas is trying to stir the others up to rebel against the men who own and drive them. He is not successful.