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A FAIRY TALE: BUZZ FROM HAPPYVILLE

Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away lived a little boy named Buzz. Buzz was a spirited boy, full of energy and curiosity. His mother said he was a real handful and she never knew what Buzz would do next but she loved him very much and encouraged him to explore his curiosity. He had an older brother Bert and a little sister named Bella. They lived together with their Mom and Dad in a little cottage in a little village called Happyville.

Happyville was a nice little village where people prided themselves on being happy and serene. Everything in Happyville was orderly and quiet and the people there loved their little village and felt it was the neatest and most orderly place in all the kingdom, with only a single exception. That exception was Buzz. Many of the villagers felt that Buzz was a bit too high spirited for Happyville and asked too many questions. Buzz didn't notice that people thought he was different, he was too busy going this way and that way, that way and this, asking everybody questions and exploring his little world.

Buzz wanted to know everything and would always ask why and how an what for. The people in Happyville always answered his questions with "because that's the way things are" or "it's all for the best." These answers did not satisfy Buzz. When he asked why the river near the village turned orange sometimes people told him that it was a "sometimes orange river." That didn't make any sense to Buzz so he explored the river and found a factory next to it a little way outside Happyville where they made paint. When he saw that the factory was sometimes not so careful and spilled things in the river Buzz had his answer, but no one in Happyville seemed to care that Buzz had found the answer to a riddle. They told him the paint factory was owned by Mr. Basskill, a leading citizen of Happyville and a very good man. He must be a good man, they explained, because Mr. Basskill went to church every Sunday and had the biggest house in Happyville, and a very orderly and neat house it was. Besides, Mr.
Basskill was far too busy doing very important things to answer a little boy's questions.

Buzz asked other questions no one could answer. He wanted to know how the mayor of Happyville got to be the mayor. Mayor Glibb had been the mayor for a very long time, since even before his big brother Bert was born. People told Buzz that Mayor Glibb was the mayor of Happyville because that's how things were. He learned in school that in other villages people took turns being mayor and the people of the village decided who would be next. He was told that in Happyville people liked order and serenity so that when it was time to vote for mayor, nobody ran against Mayor Glibb. Nobody in the village wanted to change their happy and serene way of life. Mr. Glibb made sure things never changed for the happy people of Happyville, and that was all for the best.

Buzz asked around and found out that Mayor Glibb used to work at Mr. Basskill's paint factory and was married to Mr. Basskill's sister. He also discovered that Captain Krankee, the chief of Police was also a cousin of Mr. Basskill. Captain Krankee had a big police car and a very impressive uniform with tall shiny boots. The villagers liked Captain Krankee because he made sure people followed the rules, and even if he did seem a little scary sometimes they knew it was all for the best. Buzz wanted to know who made up the rules an where they were written down so he could know these things too, but Captain Krankee told him he'd let him know when he was breaking them and that Buzz ought to watch himself since he was getting very close to breaking the law. That didn't make any sense to Buzz. How can you avoid breaking the rules when you don't know what they are? When he played games with the other boys and girls in the village there were rules that you followed. How would you know what
game you were playing if the rules changed all the time? Buzz was confused.

When he went home that day his Mom an Dad were worried and they took Buzz aside. It seems that someone from Mayor Glibb's office had spoken to them about Buzz and his curious ways and warned them that he didn't start behaving like a regular Happyville villager steps would be taken. Buzz wanted to know what steps were they talking about and his Mom said that in school they gave pills to children who don't behave properly. What kind of pills? Buzz was once again curious. Would he still be curious if he took these pills? Would he still be able to explore his little world, going this way and that, that way and this?

His Dad told him that Miss Primproppa, the principal of the village school assured them the pills would do Buzz no harm but would make him happy and serene. Buzz didn't like the sound of that and didn't like Miss Primproppa all that much in the first place. Many was the time he had been called into her office for being too high spirited. He was already pretty happy but had his doubts about what it meant to be serene. Was this what Captain Krankee meant when he said he'd let me know when I was breaking the rules? Could you still play games with the other children if you were serene? Can I still go this way and that, that way and this?

You see, curious little Buzz was made even more curious about this turn of events. That's the kind of little boy he was, spirited and curious. He wasn't hurting anyone, Buzz reasoned, just trying to learn about the world and have some fun in the process. So he kept going this way and that, that way and this and asking everybody all sorts of questions. Why does everyone in Happyville owe a lot of money to the Happyville bank? Why does Mr. Basskill's son who owns the bank tell everybody to tighten their belts? Were their pants falling down?

What happened to Mrs. Finch, the nice widow who lived next door to Buzz all his life? One day she just wasn't living there anymore and Mr. Basskill's niece now owned Mrs. Finch's cottage, and she wasn't anywhere near as nice as Mrs. Finch. Buzz' father told him Mrs. Finch could not pay her bills and so had to move out, but it was all for the best since he moved in with her daughter and grandchildren, Her daughter's husband used to work at the paint factory but was very sick now and they needed Mrs. Finch's help very much.

Now Buzz started to wonder about the "sometimes orange river" and the way the factory was so careless sometimes spilling stuff into the river so he asked if any other people who worked for Mr. Basskill got very sick. It turns out that a lot of Happyville villagers who worked at the factory got ill, even poor Mrs. Finch's husband who got so sick that he died. Luckily for the other factory workers Mr. Finch was fired before he could make them sick too. Buzz then asked if Mayor Glibb and Captain Krankee were letting the factory know when they were breaking the rules but it seemed that the rules did not apply to the Basskill family, only to the other residents of Happyville. It wouldn't seem proper, he was told, if we went around bothering our leading citizens. They are the people who make Happyville so happy and serene, and it's all for the best.

Buzz asked his school teacher to explain how all this worked for the best. He was as always curious and wanted very much to know these things. His questions earned him a trip to Miss Primproppa's office and with her was Doctor Fielgut, the village doctor. Doctor Fielgut told Buzz that he was a sick boy and needed to take some pills to get better. Buzz didn't feel sick at all and said so but the good doctor said that not every illness is noticeable at first and this one had to be prevented before it got worse. Well, he was after all the village doctor who had taken care of his family always so Buzz took the pills.

He felt pretty much the same afterwards and figured they really were medicine and not the kind of pills his parents had spoken of. He agreed with Doctor Fielgut and Miss Primproppa that the medicine would be their little secret so as not to alarm the rest of the village and put their happiness and serenity at risk. So every day before class he stopped at the school nurse's office and took his medicine. Soon Buzz was feeling quite happy and serene and nobody visited his parents to complain about him and Captain Krankee even greeted Buzz with a big smile and a pat on the head when he ran into him.

One day after school his little sister Bella asked Buzz some questions. She adored Buzz and was like him in many ways, curious and high spirited. She asked Buzz about the orange river and about Mr. and Mrs. Finch, the Basskill family and he factory and Captain Krankee and why things were the way they were in Happyville. Buzz loved his little sister and wanted her to be happy and serene. Then he told her that Happyville was the best little village in the whole kingdoms and the happiest and most serene and orderly place you could hope for. "It's all for the best, Bella," said Buzz with a serene smile. Buzz was puzzled when his little sister started crying very hard, but he didn't get upset himself. He knew that good Happyville villagers are happy and serene and orderly of mind and spirit so he hugged his baby sister and comforted her, whispering in her ear over and over, "It's all for the best, Bella, all for the best…" }

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