Tidyland was a lovely little model world which Paula Perfect had built with her toys. She was always looking after it, and making sure that everything stayed perfectly in its place. She kept the red people in the red houses, the green children playing on the swings of the green parks, and the parents talking all day in the town square. It was a sweet and perfect little world, and Paula dreamed that one day she might be able to spend a day in Tidyland.
Then, having no idea how, her wish was fulfilled, and she woke up one day in the middle of Tidyland, all dressed in pink, and made of little toy blocks.
Everything was just as she had known it! It was really lovely.
Paula was completely happy, and after she had gotten over her surprise, she ran to see the swings in the green park.
However, before she got there, a giant hand swooped down out of the sky and grabbed her. It took her by the arm and moved her back to where she had started from, next to the pink palace. Paula was a bit shocked by this, but she managed to put it out of her mind, because she caught sight of her beloved red houses, and off she went to take a closer look.
But again, the big hand came down and put her back by the pink palace.
Then a Princess came out onto one of the palace balconies and spoke to Paula.
"Don't bother. You will never be able to leave the pink zone". And the Princess explained to her how the big hand never let anyone move about in Tidyland, and that meant that it was the saddest land in the whole world; no one could do what they wanted or go where they wanted.
Paula looked at the faces of all the little people, and she could see that it was true. She realised that the big hand was her own, and that she had always used it to keep everything in Tidyland perfectly in order.
"So what's up?" she asked. "Don't you all like living in such a lovely, well organised land?" said Paula.
"If we can't choose what to do or where to go, what's the point?" they answered her. "If we could only have one day where we were free to go and see other things... Don't you understand?"
And sure, Paula soon understood. After a few days without being able to decide anything for herself, nor move away from the pink palace, Paula was feeling very down; so much so that she no longer cared about her lovely little land.
Then, one morning, she woke again in her normal life. The first thing she did was go over to her model world and move the little people about to different places.
Now each time she found one out of place, instead of immediately putting it back, she would wait for a day, so the little person would have time to enjoy all of that beautiful world.
Often, at home and at school, they had tried to explain to her what freedom meant, and how important it was. Now there was nothing about freedom Paula didn’t understand.
To know all about it she only had to remember those sad days she had spent down in Tidyland.