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A cautionary tale…

Once upon a time there was a little boy who loved CHOCOLATE. He came from a big and powerful family and they all gave him pocket money for it. Even the neighbours had to contribute, the family was so powerful. The little boy got very fat and very sick and he still had a huge sack of money put aside for more chocolate. It couldn’t go on like this!

One day his parents said, “We are really worried about your health, you have to start eating some FRUIT. We want you to start spending some of your pocket money on it, and some of the money in your sack.” But the boy kicked and screamed and said no, he needed all of that for chocolate.

So his parents said, “Ok, we will add to your allowance. You can get a bit more every day from all your neighbours, and from us, to spend on fruit. But not more than that – the neighbours will be angry at spending so much money on fruit, when they are hungry. We will put a cap on it. The neighbours will still be angry, but not TOO angry. The fruit sellers will get off our backs. And you will still have all your pocket money and your sack of money so you can buy plenty of chocolate.”

The little boy was a bit suspicious. He thought it might be a scheme to make him eat more fruit in the end. So he told all his neighbours, “Look what they’re making me do! You are being forced to subsidise my ‘healthy diet’!” The neighbours looked at all that extra money they were paying and they got angry. They said, “Why should he have fruit when we are hungry?”

The little boy went on spending just as much on chocolate – in fact, he increased the required contributions to his chocolate fund, because there was no cap on that. He also spent a lot of his fruit money (no one could say how much) on chocolate coated raisins and big chocolate oranges. And when anyone said he was spending too much, he complained about the price of fruit.

The little boy got fatter and fatter and sicker and sicker. His neighbours got hungrier and hungrier and sicker and sicker. But remember, we said at the beginning, this couldn’t go on? Just before all the chocolate in the world was finally used up, the little boy got a tummy ache and he popped. The neighbours? We don’t know yet whether they made it.

The End.



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