Nanny Walker and the Nanny State (a fable)

Nanny Walker and the Nanny State

(a fable)

            When the Bad Men attacked the City, Brother and Sister were scared.  Brother and Sister were angry.  But mostly, Brother and Sister wanted to help.  They wanted to do something.  For all their lives they had lived in the Nursery, and others did everything.  They were safe, but they wanted to be all grown up and be allowed to help.

“I can share my money with the people who were hurt,” said Sister.

“I want to go fight the Bad Men,” said Brother.

“I don’t like feeling scared and helpless,” said Sister.

Then Nanny Walker spoke.  She always knew what to do and always took care of the children.  “I know you feel scared and angry and helpless,” said Nanny Walker.  “I know you want to do something.  But you don’t need to go fight the Bad Men; there are lots of other people to do that.  It only takes one in a hundred to do that dangerous thing.  And you don’t need to share your money; the City has lots of money already, too much.  I will tell you how you can help.”

“Tell us, please!”  the children said.

“You should take your money and go shopping. Buy yourselves nice things.”

“But Nanny, how will that help?”

“You see,” Nanny Walker said,” the Bad Men hate us for having nice things.  If you don’t buy lots and lots of things, the Bad Men win.  If you go fight and do dangerous things, or give money to the City and do generous things, then you will be doing something different just because the Bad Men attacked.  And if you change anything you do, the Bad Men win. “

“But Nanny,” Brother said, “I don’t have very much money.  I borrowed a lot already to buy a new bike.”

“Then I will make the City give you more money,” said Nanny Walker.  And she did.  So Brother and Sister did what Nanny Walker said.  They spent their money and borrowed more and bought things and acted happy again.  They let others fight the Bad Men and pay for the fighting and the hospitals and fixing the buildings.  Then one day Sister got a letter from her pen pal.

“Nanny Walker, it looks like someone opened my letter!”  said Sister.

“Yes, little lamb, I opened your letter.”

“Why did you read my letter without telling me first?” asked Sister.

Nanny Walker replied, “Your pen pal lives far away.  The Bad Men came from far away.  So I needed to see if it was a bad letter that might help them hurt us again.”

Sister stomped her foot angrily.  “I never helped any Bad Men ever!  You didn’t need to read my letter.  You shouldn’t have without asking!”

“But my dear, if I waited for permission, maybe the Bad Men would have time to attack us again.  Remember, you said you wanted to help fight the Bad Men.  Now you have a way to help.  Just let me read all the letters from your pen pal and anywhere else, without asking you or telling you.  Then I can keep you safe and stop the Bad Men.  Otherwise, the Bad Men win.  And you don’t want that, do you?”

Well, Sister didn’t want the Bad Men to win.  And she felt very grown up, knowing that she was helping fight the Bad Men by letting Nanny Walker read her letters.  So Sister bought a pair of shoes and let Nanny do her work.

Then one day, Brother said, “Nanny Walker, I can’t buy any more things.  I’m out of money!”

Nanny Walker answered, “Then you should work harder.”

Brother said, “But I already do all the chores I can. Since the Bad Men attacked the City, there haven’t been as many people who want me to mow their lawns.”

“Then you should borrow some more money,” replied Nanny Walker.

“Shouldn’t I save my money in case I need it later?”  asked Brother.

“Now, child, you never saved your money before the Bad Men came.  You know that the Bad Men hate our way of life, and that means they hate everything we do, whether its spending money or not wearing beards or anything else.  If you start changing what you do then the Bad Men win.  And you don’t want that, do you?”

Well, Brother didn’t want the Bad Men to win.  And he felt very grown up being able to help fight the Bad Men by not changing what he did.  So he borrowed more money and promised that if he didn’t pay it back one day then the people he borrowed from could take his lovely bike.

And so it went for many days.  Nanny Walker took care of everything; she made sure the Bad Men stayed far away and that Someone Else went to fight them there.  She checked to make sure the Bad Men didn’t try to write letters or make phone calls to Brother or Sister by watching everything they did, but secretly so they wouldn’t have to be bothered.  She checked the children’s shoes and underwear whenever they went outside or came back inside, just to make sure nothing dangerous ever got past the door.  She made sure that the children could borrow lots of money and have more when they got old and never had to change a thing that they did.

One day Nanny Walker brought the children into the Nursery to talk to them,  She seemed very serious.  She warned them, “You have to be on your guard.  The nanny state is coming!”

Brother and Sister had never heard of Nanny State.  “What is Nanny State like?” they asked.

Nanny Walker warned them, “The nanny state will make you give some of your money to go to the doctor.”

“But Father already takes most of my allowance and gives it to the doctor.  How is Nanny State going to be different?”

“When we give our money to the doctor now, we each do it ourselves.  That way the insurance companies and drug companies can make more money.  If we let the nanny state change things, then it will be like when Grandmother goes to the doctor with her Social Security.  And you’re not old yet so you shouldn’t do that.”

“Why is that bad for us and good for Grandmother?” asked Sister.

“Because it’s change, and the Bad Men want us to change what we do, so anything that is a change is bad.  You don’t want the Bad Men to win, do you?”

“What else will Nanny State do when she comes?” asked Brother, who was a little confused at this point and thought he’d rather talk about something else.

“The nanny state will take your money away and make you share it with the children next door who don’t have any food,” said Nanny Walker.

“Aren’t we supposed to share?”  asked Brother.

“Well, yes, sharing is good, but sharing with people just because they need it is bad.  You should only share with people you like,” said Nanny Walker.

Well, that didn’t sound like “sharing” very much to Brother; it sounded like being selfish among friends.  “I still don’t understand why Nanny State is bad,” Brother said.

“Haven’t I always taken care of you and kept you safe and made sure you had everything you needed and didn’t have to change anything you did?”  Nanny Walker said.  “Why do you ask so many questions now?  I am telling you the nanny state is a terrible thing.  If the nanny state comes, you won’t have money, and you won’t be special because you’ll have to share with everyone in the City and not just the people you like.”

“But I don’t have any money now anyway,” said Brother.  “I even had to give my bike to the people I borrowed all that money you told me to spend so the Bad Men wouldn’t win.”

“And I like sharing,” said Sister.  “I wanted to share my money with the people in the City when the Bad Men attacked, but you said I shouldn’t.”

“Children, children, you just have to trust me.  The nanny state is a terrible thing.  If the nanny state comes you won’t have any freedom and you’ll be treated like little kids and things will change and the Bad Men will win.  And you don’t want that, do you?”

Well, Brother and Sister didn’t want the Bad Men to win.  It made them very angry even to think about that.  So they were very glad that Nanny Walker had warned them about Nanny State and how bad she would be.  They went back to the Nursery, where everything was done for them, where someone could watch over them and make sure they didn’t talk to Bad Men, and where nothing ever changed.

THE MORAL:  No one likes the new nanny—–particularly not the nanny we just fired!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: