Copyright © 2019 Robert Spencer Knotts All rights reserved
This is the 12th in a series of original modern fables for parents and other adults, created and copyrighted by Humanity Project Founder, Bob Knotts. They are short, fun, fictional tales that can be shared with older kids to teach important lessons about helping others. Each story also includes a simple moral at the end, as fables have done for centuries. You can find the other fables on our website at this link: Read the first 11 fables. Please enjoy them!
The Tale of the Two Windows
A fable by
Robert Spencer Knotts
In different rooms.
Both above the playground.
With children outdoors, many laughters.
Together they joyful play.
Or maybe not.
Most curious …
Oh yes, yes, oh yes yes yes yes yes. This was a scene most indeed curious to see, this was yes indeed.
Waldo had seen this curiosity indeed now for some many months or more. And each time Waldo saw, oh yes, the curiosity caught his breath up in some snort of surprisement yet again.
Two windows. Different rooms, yes, same scene below.
Or maybe not.
You see, Waldo’s curious seeings started something like this, yes, just exactly like this those seeings began. Because Waldo woke up on one extrashiny morning as the sun in narrow lightslivers slipped between his slatted blinds, all the new day’s brightlight filtering inside among the slats to poke Waldo awake warmly on both his sleeping eyelids.
Despite this distinctly sunwarmed wakening, Waldo soon felt distinctly unsunny.
Scowling and scratching the scruffy mornstubble of his beard, he pulled a thin white cord to raise the slatted blinds of the bedroom window. Peering squinteyed through the sunwarmth, Waldo peeked down at a playground mostly unsunny to see, oh yes a playscene below quite plainly playless.
Oh no, oh yes yes indeed.
The unplaying children smiled little, smiled hardly at all. Quite listless, quite playless, five boys tossed a ball. Four girls just ran round in a small silly ring. Three kids more found some sour song to sing. Two teachers, it seemed, were both bored to tears. And one lost lonely child sat huddled by fears.
Shaking his scowl and scraping his scratch, Waldo unwelcomed the long day ahead – yes the endless workingday at a workingplace not much unlike that playground below him. All the playless hours to come in his unfun office cubicle, with Waldo himself all fullup with feelings quite listless and bored quite to tears. Unwelcome thoughts indeed as Waldo walked a few short steps down the short narrow hallway toward his short kitchen for coffee. Espresso, short.
And then, well, it happened.
Yes, this was when Waldo curiously peeked curiously through the round window in the square kitchen wall. Peeked down at that same playground he’d peeked only one short moment ago, peeked first now then peered next until both his scowl and his scratch had nearly fallen off his face.
He saw five beaming boys, so strong, playing catch. Four girls raced round in a short footrace match. Three choirkids practiced some sweet ancient song. Two teachers both cried from laughing too long. And that boy? He hunched over a big frog that he’d found, a frog hopping happily through that sunwarmed playground.
Two windows. Different rooms, no yes, same scene below.
Or maybe not.
Same ball yes, same running path yes. Same kids, same teachers too. All, all, all, all just exactly the same through this window, then through that.
But then, no, of course the same not at all.
First unhappy below, then happy.
First joyless children, then joyful.
How could just the same all suddenly seem just so different?
Yes, even his hearings had so changed from one window to the next with one same sound sounding so sourly through this, so sweetly through that. Yes, just the same child soundings separated only by short seconds and short footsteps of floor.
Waldo sat down with his coffee, most indeed curiously confused. And he thought back on what had come to him through the two windows.
Unhappy, then happy. Joyless, then joyful.
How curious yes, Waldo wondered during some coffeesipping and then some soapshowering as he prepared for work. All all so curious, yes, it seemed all so curious indeed as Waldo somehow found himself with no scowl at all now, no scratch at all either. And then undreading the long day ahead, he soon hustled off to his workingplace through the sunwarmth outside.
And so things went on for some many months or more. First seeing this, then seeing that outside his two windows. Hearing sourly hearings here, followed by sweetly hearings there. Not always only playground children either, but windowseeings and windowhearings of rainstorms and roadtraffic, of songbirds and spanielwalkers.
Each time both scenes outside the two windows just exactly the same.
But each time each scene outside the two windows just exactly as different as each time before.
Here unhappy, there happy.
Day after day after day, his apartment’s two windows revealed two worlds to Waldo. Day after day after day, Waldo never could decide which of these two worlds was true, which world real.
Was it all a place of sadness down below him, grim and grimacing, everyone scowling and scratching to endure the endless unplayful hours? Or was it a place of energies and enthusiasms, with songsweet laughter bubbling effervescent through roadtraffic and rainstorms, all playful to cheer the songbirds and spanielwalkers alike?
Once himself outdoors down below the two windows, Waldo could never decide which was what. Day after day after day Waldo walked down the walk beside the roadtraffic, through the rainstorms, passing beneath the songbirds and passing past the spanielwalkers with Waldo himself all fullup of feelings indeed most curious. And mostly quite confused. Even his cubicled workingplace seemed different now somehow – but why, and how?
The which and the what, the why and the how of it all seemed ever as muddled as ever before.
And then, well, it happened.
Because one day after one day and another day, Waldo found one most curious wondering among the many wonders that wound through Waldo’s own head. Yes, one day Waldo himself snorted in surprisement over this most curious wonder: “Maybe both the unhappy and the happy, yes, maybe both were both always there. On the playground, in the rainstorms and the roadtraffic and all the rest. Joyless and joyful both always both just as real! Hmmmm … I wonder why I never noticed before?”
The why and the how and the which and the what of it all, Waldo never could quite explain. But instantly he just knew it was all so. And Waldo would never let himself unknow all the two windows had taught him for some many months or more.
Yes, Waldo always had found just what he wanted to find below a windowpane. No, it was no difference below now making those two windowscenes unsame. He could find the world scowling, much like Waldo’s own scowls. Uncuriously all playless with soursongs sounding like howls. Or he could find the world playful with sweetsongs of joys. Curiously no scowlseeings to see with no hearings of noise.
Playless and sour.
Or playful and sweet.
Waldo decided this hour by hour when up looking out windows or down walking the street.
He could hear it all just as noise or could hear it just as all song – and not one of his hearings really was wrong. Just the same with his seeings, both unhappy and happy were real there outside. But which seeings he saw there he’d somehow decide.
A snort of surprisement seems a wise way to react when two different windows show two quite different facts.
Yes, all joyful the play there! Or no, maybe not.
People can only discover outside them, yes, the things inside them they've already got.
Moral: The world always has both good and bad but we decide which one most influences our life.