The Legend Of Christmas
Vigilance--Part III of V
"How A Piece Of Rock Candy Brought Light To Darkness"
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Dec. 22, 2003 --
The Children of the Land of Prosperity inched forward toward the
Sentinel. It was the third evening they gathered in the Great Hall to
hear the Story of Vigilance and, for the youngest, to learn first-hand how
the Beast of Terror was banished from the Land.
The Sentinel sipped from his hot
chocolate and scanned the faces of the children. They were of all
different colors, shapes and sizes, representing all cultures, ethnicities.
While not all may have adhered to the Principles of Christmas, all embraced
each other's cultures, respecting them as did their parents and
"Tonight, we will learn about the
Second Principle of Vigilance, children. The one that shrank the
shadow of the Beast of Terror into a tiny, baby, eenie-weenie atomic dot."
The Sentinel pinched his thumb and
forefinger slowly together as he said the words, capturing the rapt looks of
the children as he squeezed the imaginary size of the Beast's shadow down
between his fingers.
"Is there a Timmy here," the Sentinel
asked, waving his had over the rows of young ones sitting cross-legged on
the polished wooden floor, warmed by the heat of the hearth flickering
yellow flames up the Great Chimney of the Hall.
A hand shot up. "Come on
up here, Timmy."
The Little One weaved through his
friends, picking his way carefully around fingers and hands pressed to the
floor as the other children turned to see the boy. He had shiny
black hair and a big smile revealing a missing front tooth.
"Come, sit on my knee, Tim."
The Sentinel scooped up the lad and sat him
on his knee. He took a piece of candy out of his pocket and held
it up. Timmy cocked his head to see the rock candy reflecting light
cast from the fire.
"Inside this piece of candy is trapped what
I call Day Shine. Day Shine is the light, the brightness of
summer, the crystal clearness of a winter day when the sun sparks the flakes
of silver and gold atop snowdrifts and makes it look as though the land was
alive with a million jewels of light. I'm going to give this to
Timmy to eat. And, I'll ask you to think about another riddle.
What does it mean when Timmy has the Day Shine in his tummy. A hint.
You see the light now inside the rock candy. It's dancing, alive.
But, as soon as Timmy eats it, it will be gone. Or, will it?
Where will it have gone? And what does that mean about the Beast of
Terror? Here, Timmy, enjoy."
The little boy took the candy and held it
up to the light. Sure enough, the clear crystalline structure prismed
the light from the fire. The candy's center seemed to come to
life as Timmy looked through it, twisting it to the left and right so the
images it produced changed.
"When you're ready, Timmy."
Timmy popped the candy in his mouth and
began to suckle and chew simultaneously. A line of spittle
leaked from the corner of his mouth and he wiped it away with his sleeve to
the giggles of the children. As Timmy ate, the Mothers and
Grandmother's of Vigilance passed around bowls of rock candy for the
audience, offering one to each of the children.
"Now, so we are all enjoying the same pleasure as
Timmy, look at your rock candy in the light and then eat yours."
The children followed Timmy's suit, studying their candy in the flickering
flame light before slipping it into their mouths.
"Does anyone know the answer to the riddle:
What was the second thing that made the people of the Land of Poverty
so afraid of the Beast. Remember, last night, we learned
the first of the Triads of Terrorism was Fear, and that Courage countered
it. We learned that Cee Our Unity Repels A Great Enemy was an acronym
for Courage. It meant that what we might not be able to do on
our own, we could do when we all came together to help each other.
Tonight, the question is, What is the second of the Triad of Terrorism?"
The sound of sucking, crunching rock
candy filled the room as the children pondered the riddle. Each
year the Sentinel made up new and different mind puzzles to keep the
children's attention. He was pleased there was scrunched
eyebrows chewing on the question as though it were candy.
"I know! I know the
answer. I mean," the young girl said, "I think I know it. But I
need to ask you some questions, Sentinel. Is that okay?"
"Of course. All answers
lie in the question. Shoot!"
"First, is the answer in
The Sentinel smiled.
"Does his name have something
to do with the answer?"
"Right again!" The
Sentinel nodded, urging her on.
"Does the answer have five
syllables, five different parts to its sound?"
"Ahhhh, you are very very right
so far. Would you like to try and solve the riddle?"
"Yes! Yes!" The
girl bounced up and down, reminding the Sentinel of a Jack-In-The Box toy he
once carved for a little boy who liked to have things pop out of nowhere.
"Please, tell us what you
think it means."
The little girl twirled a
strand of her hair around her index finger, and stood on one leg, the other
crossing it to keep her balance. She listed her head to the left
and pulled at the corner of her lip, her eyes sparkling as she arranged the
answer before speaking.
"Okay...okay...this is what I
think. Timmy took the candy IN his mouth." She exaggerated
the word IN loudly so everyone knew she was making it part of her answer.
And, he ate the Day Shine. Like, he swallowed the sunlight.
He ate the light. I am going to guess that the answer is IN
TIMMY DAY SHINE!"
"Are you sure that is
what you want to guess?" questioned the Sentinel.
The girls shifted her
weight from one foot to the other, not unlike the great Morgan horse that
pulled the village sleigh and toured the children on moonlighted nights
through the trees and fields as they sang songs and pointed at the stars
dripping down Heaven's canvass.
"You sound like you have
Conviction in your answer. Are you telling us your Conviction to the
riddle is In Timmy Day Shine?"
"You're teasing me, Sentinel.
You know I am!"
"Ah, so you are full of
Conviction that In Timmy Day Shine is the answer...and, you are absolutely
Many of the children wore
curious looks, switching their eyes from the girl to the Sentinel, then back
"Yes, the answer is the
Beast ate the people's daylight. His great shadow suffocated the
sunlight of their spirit. It turned the bright of day into the dark of
night in people's hearts. Remember when you looked at your rock candy,
children? You saw the light dance inside it. Then, when
you ate it, the light was gone. It went inside you. Well,
the Beast of Terror ate all the children's light, all the mother's and
father's light, all the grandmother's and grandfather's light.
Timmy ate the light too. In Timmy Day Shine--means, INTIMIDATION!"
"Yes!" The little
girl bounced and cheered. "INTIMIDATION!"
One of the youngest
children cautiously poked up his hand. The Sentinel nodded to
him. "What does...In-tim-ee-day-shine mean, Sentinel."
"Well, first, let's let
Timmy stand up. Now, I'll stand up next to him." The
Sentinel rose from the Great Chair, towering over Timmy who was chewing on
the last fragments of his rock candy. "See how much bigger
I am than Timmy. Look up, Timmy!"
The little boy craned his neck
to look the Sentinel in the face. "Now, if I was a mean person
and wanted to scare Timmy and make him cry, do you think I could."
"Yes," said a boy in the front
row, licking his sticky fingers. "You are way big and Timmy is way
The Sentinel raised his arms
like a raven in flight and twisted up his face in a mock growl.
"Because I'm big and scary, do you think Timmy would feel helpless,
powerless against me and run and hide if I told him I was going to eat him,
or spank him, or be mean to him."
"I'd run very fast," Timmy said.
"I'd be very afraid."
"Well, Intimidation is when someone
tries to bully you, children. When someone tries to make you
feel less than, or tells you they are smarter than you, or tells you that
you're not good enough, or as good looking as they are, or not as pretty, or
handsome, or too fat or too thin, or too short or too tall. All
they're trying to do is make you feel bad. They're trying to
snuff the sunlight of your spirit, to make you smaller and themselves
bigger. The Beast of Terror used Intimidation to make everyone
think he was in charge of them. Mean people like to push other
people around, sometimes with words, sometimes with their hands or with
weapons. They want to make you think what they say is
true. They want to make you a nail and hit you with their
hammer. They want to beat you up from the inside out, by making you
believe what they say. When someone hurts your feelings, they
have Intimidated you. They have turned the sunlight of happiness into
the sadness of a dark, scary night. That's the bad news.
But, the good news is, you have the light within you."
"In Timmy Day Shine!"
chimed the girl who had solved the riddle.
Inside Timmy is the light of the rock candy. That light, we call
Conviction. Conviction is the Second Principle of Vigilance.
It means that no matter who tries to make you feel bad, or who tries to make
you think you are less than another, or who tries to bully you, the Light of
Vigilance is within. That light comes from Conviction--In Timmy
Day Shine. That means, inside us all the day shines over the
night, the good is stronger than the bad, the right is bigger than the
wrong, the happiness is bigger than the sadness."
"Did the Stranger teach that to
the people of the Land of Poverty?"
"He did. It was the
Second Principle of Vigilance. He told the people that they all could
rid the Beast's shadow by not letting him steal the daylight, the sunlight,
the moonlight from their lives. He told them the Stars of
Vigilance shine on them as they as they held to the Conviction that no one
but themselves could make them feel bad. You see, children,
there is a saying we all need to remember no matter how old we are. It
will help us always banish the Beast of Intimidation from us, no matter what
someone might say about us. And, it reminds us that the Beast of
Terror speaks to us from the inside out. He fills our thoughts
sometimes with screeches and caws, like the crows. He whispers
to us that we're not this or that, or that we're not as big or strong, or as
smart, or pretty, or handsome, or worthy as we are. He likes to
whisper to us and fill us with Doubt and make us afraid of ourselves.
So the Bully Beast is sometimes inside as well as outside us. We have
to be Vigilant about those Voices. And that's where this saying comes
from. You can tell it to yourself or to someone trying to steal your
"Tell us what it is, Sentinel. Tell
"Okay. Here it is. I'm
Rubber And You're Glue, And Everything You Say Bounces Off Me And Sticks On
The children all laughed.
"Say it with me," the Sentinel urged.
"I'm Rubber...You're Glue...Everything You Say...Bounces Off Me...And Sticks
"I'm Rubber, You're Glue, Everything You
Say, Bounces Off Me, And Sticks On You!"
"Wonderful. Let's give Timmy a
Everyone clapped as Timmy made his
way back to the empty space he left on the floor. The other children
shook his hand, patted his shoulder and gave him thumbs up as he sat and
crossed his legs, a half-moon smile slicing his face, his eyes shining from
the rock candy's light within.
The Sentinel sat back in the
Great Chair. "Now, the people of the Land of Poverty had learned
two things. First, they could fight Fear of the Beast with
Courage from themselves. They learned that the Courage of one of
them could be added to the Courage of another and that the sum of their
Courage would always be greater than the Fear of the Beast."
"And they learned about
In-Timmy-Day-Shine," shouted Timmy.
"That's right, Timmy. The
second thing the people learned was that the darkness that ruled the land
came from themselves. They let the Fear of the Beast snuff out
the candle of their Conviction. They lit that Candle of
Conviction with their Courage. They found that the Light of Conviction
drove away Intimidation. It made them grow up from the inside out.
They realized the Beast of Terror was about making people think less of
themselves. The more people thought they were victims of the Beast,
the more the Beast ruled their lives. The darker the land
became. But, when the Stranger showed them that the Light of
Conviction was inside them, they began to see the Beast was not a giant at
all. It wasn't a Tower of Fear. It was only a toothpick.
The Light of Conviction shooed away the Shadows of Intimidation."
"And they learned
they were rubber and the Beast was glue?" The little girl with
the pigtails nodded her head up and down just as the teacher at the School
of Vigilance did.
"That's exactly right,
Little One. They learned that the Beast of Terror tried to hide
inside them all, whispering to them from the inside out that they weren't as
big and as strong and as pretty or as smart or as able as someone else.
But now, the people could fight the Beast within by saying--" The
Sentinel held out his hand like a choir director, urging the children's
Glue...Everything You Say...Bounces Off Me...And Sticks On You...!"
"Excellent," said the
Sentinel. "You have done well tonight. Tomorrow night, we will
find out about the last of the Triads of Terrorism, and how the people
learned from the Stranger how to never let the Beast gain control over their
land ever, ever, ever again. Now, children, as you go home tonight,
sing the song of Conviction....the one that drives Intimidation away...that
turns bad feelings into good ones, that brings light to darkness. What
is the song?"
"I'm Rubber...You're Glue..."
They began to sing as they stood and clapped and laughed. The
Grandmother's and Mother's of Vigilance passed out a final piece of rock
candy. Some ate it, others stuffed it in their pockets to remind
themselves the day shines from within.
--end of Part III of V--
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