No. 499

Alice held her crayon tightly and filled in a green patch of the turtle’s shell.

She sneezed, and the track of the crayon made a jagged turn, slashing down through the page, and off the edge of the paper.

Alice was horrified. Her picture was ruined. She sat completely still, waiting for the consequences.


A time passed.


She looked around, slowly.

The rest of the class was absorbed in their own work. The teacher was at his desk, writing in his book.

Nobody had noticed Alice’s violation of the One Rule.

It began to dawn on her that she’d colored outside of the lines, and nobody cared.


She made a careful test of her theory, drawing deliberately through the turtle’s neck.

She flinched slightly as she did so.

But again, there was silence in the room.

Alice concluded that she was free to do whatever she wanted!

She had never experienced this kind of power before.

Instead of finishing her picture, she started to think of other rules to break.