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Larry and Tarquin

This is the tale of two boys. We will call them Tarquin and Larry.

Tarquin and Larry never used to be friends; their families came from either side of the tracks, so to speak. But over the years they managed to find common ground. As the world got smaller they both began to recognise similar interests in acquiring as much pocket money as possible. It was a case of mutual self interest, rather than anything deeper or nobler. Over the years they became greedy.

Then, in 2008, they got caught stealing from a sweet shop. Both boys were culpable but Tarquin was lucky in that he was stood behind Larry when the shopkeeper came into the front of the shop from his office out back. Consequently he was able to pocket his candy without being noticed. At the same time as the shopkeeper saw what Larry was holding, catching him red handed, Tarquin stepped back and flung out his arm, finger pointing straight toward his friend: “it was him, sir!”

Larry, chastised and burning, confessed and set about paying back the shopkeeper. Unfortunately for Larry there had been a crime wave throughout town. All the other sweet shops, candy stores, and confectioners were being robbed as well. Larry felt so ashamed that he went to as many of them as he could; explaining himself he offered to help them. Again he was betrayed by his former friend; with the help of his wealthy and influential family Tarquin had blamed the robberies on Larry (even though Larry couldn’t be everywhere at once) and his family.

Sadly for Larry, his family had so admired Tarquin that even they began to question Larry. How could they ever trust him again? His friends turned away and people, upon meeting him, assumed the worst. If he’d done it once, they thought, surely he’d do it again.

But the biggest tragedy of all is that Larry now believes he was right to do what he did and that Tarquin’s way of living is an ideal worth striving for.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone kind enough to read and comment on my blog!

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