Fred, Red, and the Shed: a Parable about Progress


Fred had young Red over to his old shed
Fred’s shed contained but a rotten floor and creaky bed
They both stood inside, where Fred would reside
and began to argue about just what to do

For you see, it was a decrepit shed
“Let’s nix the shed” said the intrepid Red
“Let’s fix the shed” said the more tepid Fred

Fred said, “there’s no need to nix what we can fix!”
Red said, “there’s no way to fix it, we must therefore nix it!”

Fred objected, “it needs some patching but it will do!”
Red corrected, “the door is catching and the floor’s rotted through!”

Fred accused, “you don’t care about this shed, you just want to destroy it!”
Red refused, “I care much about this shed, but you can no longer enjoy it”

Fred banished Red from the shed because
Fred said Red filled him with dread
“You are conveying threats against me and my shed” said Fred
“No, I’m saying let’s scrap the broken foundation, Fred!” said Red

As Fred and Red argued about the shed that day
the rotting floor beneath Fred began to give way

but as they shed their heated words
they did not hear
beams below breaking into thirds
as the shed’s collapse grew near

Red stood outside the shed
and observed its crumbling floor
as Fred stood inside the shed
until the floor served to hold no more