Mother Nature was in a quandary. Father Time lay asleep and the world was in chaos. She had looked high and low for the key that wound him up, but it could not be found.
Father Time was rather partial to taking a power nap of fifteen minutes daily. During this period the world functioned by itself. This accounted for the delays and system failures that we as humans witnessed every day. But it couldn’t be helped. Father Time was getting on in his years and he dearly hoped to hand over the mantle some day to his boys, Before, Now and After.
“Hurry, the key must be here somewhere and must be found” Mother Nature cried to all around.
Worried, Before and After ran up to her.
“Mom, the key is with Now. He wanted to have some fun and well… we agreed. Actually, together we are to blame for it,” they confessed.
With no time to waste, Mother Nature shouted out “NOW” and he came scrambling.
“Yes Mom?” he asked nervously.
“Hand over the KEY!”
Now looked petulantly at his brothers, thinking, ‘these lily-livered idiots’. But there was nothing he could do at that moment.
“NO. I won’t! Let Father sleep awhile. What harm can it do?”
“You really want to know? See for yourself,” Mother dragged him to the nearest window.
Oh, the chaos! While many people stood frozen, others dragged their feet. Animals and humans wandered without a sense of direction. Traffic signals failed and flights were delayed. It looked like a perfect example of the land of Topsy-Turvy.
Contrite, Now apologized, “I am so sorry Mother. I didn’t mean to do this at all,” he handed over the key. Mother Nature hastened to rouse Father Time from his long nap.
Soon, order was restored and Before, Now and After learnt a hard lesson at a young age. They knew not to meddle with time ever again.