Our adaptation of H.G.Wells’s Country of the Blind (Ch9)

The people of the valley lived a simple life, and they worked hard. They had food and clothing, and they had days of rest with singing and dancing.

Nunez marvelled at the valley people’s confidence and meticulousness. Everything was made to suit their needs. All the paths ran side by side and they were clean and free from obstacles. Different markings distinguished the different paths. The valley people’s senses were marvellous: they could hear the slightest movement – even the beating of a heart – and they could smell the slightest scent.

Once or twice, some people tried to listen to Nunez when he told them about his eyes and his ability to see. They sat with their heads down and ears turned towards him. He did his best to tell them of his world, the beauty of sight, the world beyond the mountains, the sky and the sunrise. They listened amused and bewildered. ‘No,’ they told him. ‘There are no mountains, only rocks where the llamas graze. After the rocks, it is the end of the world.’ They told him that his thoughts were wicked and untrue, so Nunez gave up.

One day, Nunez saw Pedro coming towards him. The people around Nunez had no idea: they couldn’t hear or smell Pedro. Nunez wanted to show the advantage of sight and said: ‘Pedro is coming here on path seventeen.’

The people around Nunez scoffed. `Not true. Pedro has no right to be on path seventeen.’

‘He is coming here,’ said Nunez. ‘Just wait.’ But Pedro turned and walked down path ten in the other direction. The people laughed at Nunez when Pedro didn’t arrive. When Nunez asked Pedro questions about him being on the path, he denied it and became hostile towards Nunez.

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