Raphael O Shonibare

The City of Liberty – Dialogue

Queen Rona and her armies reach the city gates.

The shepherd seals Liberty off to protect his sheep. He hides them and scorches the land, so the queen would find nothing worth fighting for. But Rona’s agents are already in the city, and have begun attacking the shepherd’s flock.

A sheep pleads with the shepherd. ‘You promised to protect us,’ he said. ‘Yet you scorch the land we feed on.’

‘Do not fear,’ the shepherd replies, ‘I have prepared a place for you, underground, where you’ll be safe.’

‘But isn’t this the City of Liberty? Weren’t we born to roam the land?’

‘Not today.’

‘Then when?’

‘When it’s safe to do so.’

‘Who made you lord and master over our nature?’

‘The city!’

‘How can this be? We were free long before the city and its laws. Can you take what you didn’t give?’

‘This is for your protection.’

The shepherd guides the flock underground. As he closes the gate, sealing them inside, the sheep turns to his fellows behind him.

‘Woe unto us, for liberty has departed the city. I warned you, didn’t I? Shepherds have a lust to dominate [1]. And now, he will do a lot more than protect.’

Alas, the sheep’s lamentation is drowned out by the bleating of many.

© Raphael O Shonibare 2020

[1] Libido Dominandi (Desire to dominate), The City of God by Augustine of Hippo, published 426 AD.