His Beloved Country

His Beloved Country

A business man on a large island was a wise man, and he loved his country very much.  He participated in the country’s government in many ways, with each effort benefiting the country and its communities. He was elected to or appointed to government positions, and his businesses grew with the country.

He also had a family and loved them, too.  He had two sons, the oldest, John, and two years later, named Jeff.  He brought up the children to share his love for the people of his country and the obligations they were to inherit through family ties.  They were taught to be leaders of the community.  The two sons were also rivals.  In youth, this was expected to a certain degree.  In sports they tried to out -perform each other in the same sport to be the best at different sports.  Even in card and board games, the accusations of cheating were often justified.  The father still loved his two sons very much and did his best to raise them with the help of their mother.

As they brothers matured, the rivalry seemed to increase, first in their businesses. The one main business started by their father soon became two competing firms, and their influence on government politics was increased to where they were elected representatives of the two sides of the island.  The island had two ports, one at each end, and while their father was raising them, both ports prospered with increases in imports of goods and services.

By coincidence, both John and Jeff had married women who were twins, and loved being a part of a large family.  This was one thing that the father hoped would bring the two brothers together.  In time, the brothers grew more distant, and John first proposed that the west side of the island become its own country. He felt it had the most of the industrial growth, most of the population and in his opinion, was the best part of the island.  Most of his business contacts were on the west side of the island.  The West side could not only survive on its own, but be better than the east side of the island, which had more mountains and was more agricultural. His opinion was shared by others in government, and later John and others declared independence when a simple link fence divided the country in half, with gates at the three main roads across the island.

Soon a small army was developed to create and expand the simple fence to a dual layered electrified fence with razor wire on top and mines between.  The basic fence had become cement and steel with sentry posts.  The gates, secured, remained.  The wives of the two leaders suggested that each country give a two-mile square area for the other country to become land for an embassy, where people could help move people back and forth from each country diplomatically, and keeping social ties on each side.  Soon the ambassadors of each country had other economic issues to discuss.

Extra taxes, duties or tariffs had been created by the East and West sides of the island so that goods and services from the other side, either through the gates or via the harbors at the ports, were more expensive.  The more the demand, the higher the tariff, and this outraged the people of each country.  Businesses that depended on the extra trade soon were forced to lay-off workers, adding to the instability.

It was cheaper to buy items and services from other countries than from the other side of the island.  Knowing that the island was never going to be the same, the father of John and Jeff died a disappointed man. The governments seem to increase their security so that the army created to make the fence was expanded to protect the integrity of the countries, which meant that those opposed to the way things were going were forced to meet in secret, often, as suggested by the two countries’ governments in the guise of religious meetings.Soon the official influence of the Church was discredited.

As nature goes, their island had resisted minor storms, but on a Sunday, a typhoon came that was so strong several of the large ships on the harbor had been pushed miles inland.  Houses and building were destroyed, and many people were either killed or injured.  The countries asked for help.  Some aide came, but the people noticed that the wall that had been built to separate the two countries was destroyed in or by the storm.  The two countries, sharing the same grief, decided to merge and become one country so it could rebuild.  The mines were removed between the former fences. The families were united in the grief and the hope that the two sons could now make the island into their father’s idea of his beloved country.

Did you know that Elias Tobias has published two books, and one is an anthology of 145 poems, and the other a short story murder mystery. For complete information about these books and how to purchase them, click here..

For other short stories by Elias Tobias, click here.

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