Our adaptation of H.G. Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch7)

An older man began to question Nunez, and Nunez tried to describe his world: the sky, the mountains, the people, and all the other wonderful things in it. The old men sat and listened – and believed nothing. Fourteen generations ago, these people became blind and were cut off from the rest of the world. The stories of another, different world were just fairy stories, they thought. Nunez slowly understood the differences between him and the people of the valley. The valley people believed their elders and questioned nothing. Their days were ‘warm and cold’ and not ‘day and night’. They said it was good to sleep in the warm and work in the cold. For them, light meant nothing.

Nunez was there, the elders said, to learn about their world, and all the people in the room agreed. They asked Nunez, `Do you know how to sleep?’ because he came to them in the warm time when they usually slept and woke them.

`I know how to sleep,’ Nunez told them, ‘but first I want food.’

They brought him food – llama’s milk in a bowl and salted bread – and took him away to a quiet place. There, they left him to eat and sleep until evening – the start of their day – came.

But Nunez didn’t sleep. He thought about his situation. Sometimes he laughed and sometimes he shook his head in bewilderment.

`They think I am from the rocks and newly born,’ he laughed. ‘But I will teach them…’ He began thinking hard.

He was still thinking when the sun set.

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