Once upon a time, in a land not so very far away, there was a grassy knoll. Now this grassy knoll was not so famous as some grassy knolls, and not very much exciting ever happened there. Certainly there was no opening and closing of mysterious umbrellas, or anything quite so ominous as that. No, just a plain old, every-day, mundane kind of grassy knoll.
Now the grassy knoll was inhabited by a complacent horde of straw-like creatures who lived quite peaceably day in and day out. They were sturdy and dependable folk, not given to over-excitement, the following of ridiculous fads, or any such other nonsense. Sunrise to Sunset, and all through the night, they stood steadfast.
But one day a terrible thing happened. A chemical plague, the likes of which had never been seen, rained down upon the grassy knoll. Screams were heard as some inhabitants tried to bunker in while others leapt to their death. The slaughter continued for weeks. Soon the grassy knoll was no longer grassy, replaced by a barren wasteland as far as the eye could see.
But one fateful day, the attack ceased. The coast was clear. But was the grassy knoll ruined, destined to be forever devoid of life? Slowly but surely, one inhabitant at a time began to re-emerge. Like the Big Bad Wolf, the wielders of the heinous chemicals could huff and they could puff, but they could not blow down the resolve of the stalwart citizens. Those citizens were just like the Ever-Ready Bunny ( except without the pink).
No, my friends, the denizens of the grassy knoll were as tough as they come. Yet, for all their might, something within them had changed, for no being can enter the fray and come forth unscathed. As a result, the straw-like creatures were no longer straw-like and certainly no longer straw colored. For just as Gandalf, the Grey returned after being struck down in the Lord of the Rings, so the dwellers of the grassy knoll returned. And, like Gandalf, they were no longer the same. They were, in fact, white. White, symbol of purity, the 'good guys', and Mr. Clean. Who knew?
Will this change elicit a change in the terroir of the grassy knoll? Only time can say. Likely a certain wisdom will be born of the adversity. Well, we can hope.
“No, my heart will not yet despair. Gandalf fell and has returned and is
with us. We may stand, if only on one leg, or at least be left still
upon our knees.” - J.R.R. Tolkien