That same day, a father of one of the children discovered the rapid disappearance of his children’s allowances. He went to inquire. When he saw Quinbi, he remembered the newspaper report of the desperate plight of the Eldren.
He took Quinbi to lunch and asked her about her story. Little by little she began to give details of what her people faced, until the gruesome details poured from her like a flood. In a trancelike state, she spoke of witnessing the insatiable beasts of hunger and violence. The mass killings and horrible atrocities were constant realities in her land. The haunting hunger left none free of torment.
The unclean water, gathered from contaminated tiny puddles, caused much suffering and often led to painful deaths. The young were the most vulnerable to the illnesses arising from the dirty water. Wave after wave of children’s deaths washed over Ta’ Bough.
She recounted the disturbing memories of impotently trying to comfort the inconsolable mothers who had lost all their children one at a time and memories of children who had lost both parents- but were too dehydrated to let tears fall.
When she explained about The Taker and his daughters the entire restaurant fell silent. The wait staff and cooks stepped out of the kitchens to listened in. The business of the restaurant ground to a halt. Spellbound by the reality so different from their own, the customers looked at their discarded, half-eaten meals. In the presence of this story they felt shame but, more than that, a compassion and a determination to do something.
Everyone had read the news report of the Eldren, but everyone assumed it was the responsibility of the government to handle so great a problem. Suddenly, they each thought of something they could do. Each had a unique skill, job, or amount of influence. All had resources they could spare. Their excess could have a great purpose.
Awareness was birthed; it did move a mountain. This awareness began with one girl who asked a question and gave what she had. She was the tiny pebble that started an avalanche of good works. It was a strong, swift moment that changed the landscape of Ta’ Bough entrenched in suffering. Hope survived and spread.
Pebbles if you hear coins jingling in your pockets click here to change the world.