The Voyage of the Ship of State

 Once upon a time there was a great ship, with many passengers. It was on a long journey on an endless sea.  The ship was run by a crew of fifty hard working men.  They ran the engines, scrubbed the decks, and protected the passengers.

 One day a crew member noticed that there was water in the bilge of the ship. There has always been some bilge water in every ship ever built. Some comes from small leaks in the hull and some from rain water that always ends up in the bottom of the boat. But half of the crew, the blue crew, was very worried about the bilge water and wanted it gone. On their own, they drilled ten holes in the bottom of the ship in order that the water could run out.

 They were very surprised when instead of running out, more water came in! The other half of the crew, the red crew, could not believe that the blue crew had drilled holes in the ship!  They said, “You need to plug the holes or the ship will sink!”  The blue crew scoffed at them and said, “We need to drill ten more holes and then the water will run out. We are absolutely sure of it!

 The red crew was at a loss at for what to do. Half wanted to force the blue crew to plug the holes, but the other half of the red crew was afraid of the blue crew.  The frightened half of the red crew convinced the blue crew to only drill fire more holes instead of ten. They knew the ship would still sink, but at least it would take longer.

 As you can see, things were going very badly and very soon the ship would sink and all the passengers would drown.  Some passengers, who were having a tea party close by, found out about the holes and the plan to drill more.  These passengers plugged the holes and then they threw the blue crew members in the brig.  They were punished because they almost got everyone killed.

 The passengers believed that the half of the red crew that cooperated with the blue crew were even more foolish than the blue crew.  The silly half of the red crew was smart enough to know what to do, but lacked the courage to stand up to stupidity and in fact cooperated with the drilling plan.  This made them more dangerous than the blue crew. They were put on small boats and made to leave the ship forever.  No one knows whatever became of them.

  Many responsible passengers became crew members and the ship of state sailed into the sea of prosperity. 

The End

Pat Bratton
Lawrenceville GA

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