After the merchants were pardoned and the townsfolk were sent to the fields, Tom the goose laid three golden eggs. The first hatched to reveal a hundred bronze brooches. In the second were a hundred silver goblets; in the third a hundred golden swords. The merchants pinned the brooches to their hearts, filled the goblets with ale and drank till they were mortal drunk. Then they cursed each other, took up the swords and fought till they were dead. Tom shook his wings and flew above the city, which had grown in its own egg, and waited to be born.
Some of us came from the factories, sons and daughters of coal miners and steel workers. Others were the children of doctors and professors. We were brothers, sisters, neices and nephews, friends, colleagues and lovers. You saw us only through what we did; the ways in which we toiled. We created glories, memories, happiness, and you took it all to the bank. Cash in hand you led us to nightclubs, bought us drinks and fast cars. We hatched plans and got drunk, occasionally made the news. And now we are gone and the obituaries written. You smile, averting your eyes.