Prison Walls

Once there was a prison built with only one wall dividing the guards from the unruly prisoners.  The longer the prisoners languished in this holding tank, the more they yearned for walls to separate them from the other prisoners.  They complained to the guards. This complaint pleased the guards and they laughed off the request.  

The prisoners wrested stones loose from the floor and piled them into a wall.  When the guards saw them digging out the stones, they accused them of revolt, and made the prisoners put the stones back in the floor.  

The next day, the prisoners took off their clothes and draped them for barriers.  And the guards punished them for their nakedness and made them put their clothes back on.  

After that, the guards found the prisoners sitting in the order of a grid on the stone floor.  And when the guards asked them why they were sitting so orderly together, the prisoners refused to speak.  This went on for months until the guards felt so uncomfortable with the silence of the prisoners sitting in unison that it gave them nightmares.  The wild fantasies of what the prisoners must be plotting drove the guards mad.

Out of anger, the guards built walls around each prisoner.  After the prisoners got what they wanted, they broke their silence and became unruly again.

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