Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Canada (01/29/09)
TITLE: Separated at Birth
By Kenneth Bridge
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They are, on either side of the boundary, mirror images, and like mirror images, they are not alike, but have many things reversed.
They are twins carved out of a shared history, but the history they share is not the same.
One twin is fiercely independent, impetuous, importunate, filling his frontiers with boisterous clamor, spinning webs of railways and highways to encompass himself, Gulliver lain low by his own Lilliputian labors, and thus encircled, finds a false freedom hurtling around its frenetic, kinetic filaments.
The decorous, domestic one, the civilized scion of Europe, embraced the wanton wilderness of maple and oak, birch and pine, tundra and glacier, soaring mountains, crystal lakes, wide windswept prairies, tundra and frozen seas. Its people are few, its reaches vast, home to marten and fisher, moose, elk, and caribou, brown bear and white, with wolves howling down the northern lights against the deep winter long midnight sky.
The call of the loon, the hooting of an owl, the splintering crack of tree boles surrendering to the shattering cold, and then the silence settles again. There is a wild music here, unheard by human ears, a symphony of wilderness.
Rough and ruddy Esau has corralled his game, has tamed his wilderness, has turned his wildness inward. Gentle Jacob, with due deference to his mother, Rebecca, his Regina, has pitched his tent on the edge of the wilderness and breathes the untamed air. Twins they were, and twins they are. They live their lives in parallel. Their boundary cleaves them; it divides them and also holds them fast.
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