Posted by: Jenny | Thursday, 30 August 2007

Never assume that what is obvious to you is obvious to someone else!

Making our puppets 

Just got back from a weekend learning to tell stories with puppets.  A wonderful way to tap one’s creative juices.  The story we came up with is a favourite one of my husband Martin.  It is set in the last years of the Austro-Hungarian empire, when Austria was keen to protect its southern border with Italy.  Sentry posts were placed on the high mountains of the Dolomites range.  The sentries assigned to man these posts were the less sociable members of the Austrian infantry.  It might take five hours to walk up to the sentry post, and once a week the sentry had to make the ten-mile round trip to file his report on enemy troop movements.

A sentry by the name of Hirs is on duty at the observation post on the Sonnenblick mountain.  His superiors decide that now is the time to put a new invention to good use – for what better way to use a telephone than to send an receive a message, in minutes, that would have taken hours to deliver previously?

The pioneer corps have installed the cabling, and on the momentous day when the telephone is to be installed, Hirs’ commanding officer personally ascends to the sentry post to delier the contraption and explain its use.  “Now, it’s quite simple: you speak into this mouthpiece and hold the earpiece to your ear.  You will hear me speaking to you from the valley down there; and when you have a message to deliver to me, all you need to do is pick up the ‘phone.  Have you got that?” “Yes, Sir.”  The officer and his retinue return to base.

A short while later, the telephone rings in the sentry post.  Hirs picks up the earpiece and lifts it to his ear.  “Hirs, can you hear me?” “Yes Sir, I hear you very well.” “Now listen carefully – I have a very important message for you.” “Right Sir, I’m on my way.”  And Hirs does what he has always done: he walks the five miles down into the valley to pick up his message.


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