Once upon a time, there were two kingdoms. All buildings in the Kingdom of Up were tall. Everything that went up was prized; no one ever used their lower shelves. Every child slept in bunk beds, but none slept in the lower bunks. The Uppies spoke in high voices, wore mini skirts and liked to sit on their roofs. Their other hobbies included flying kites and astronomy.
In the Kingdom of Down, people lived in underground caves. Everything that went down was prized, and in this kingdom only the lower shelves and bunks were used. For fun, they dug holes and sat in the bottoms; they spoke in low voices and wore maxi skirts. Downies also loved wearing a scuba suits and plumbing the depths of the oceans.
Between these opposite kingdoms was the Middle Land. No one lived in Middle Land, but it was very important to both kingdoms. Here the people of both countries would travel in their daily journeys. The Uppies needed to obtain root vegetables, water from wells and worms for fishing, while Downies needed fruit from high trees, lightning rods and birds for their dinners.
People in the two kingdoms did not get along very well. After all, it was hard for them to understand each other. The Uppies couldn’t understand why anyone would look down and the Downies couldn’t imagine looking up. The Uppies and Downies seldom noticed each other in their travels through the Middle Land.
Things might have continued this way forever, but one day, as the groups were walking in the Middle Land, a young lady from Up, named Upella, tripped and fell on a large stone. All the Downies saw her fall, because they had been looking down. But, because no Uppie had ever been down before, neither group knew what to do. However, a young man from Down, named Downley, noticed Upella’s beautiful face before it landed in the mud – and stopped to help her.
Both groups were stunned. A Downie, helping an Uppie? It was unheard of. The Uppies gasped and gazed upward; not one knew what to make of such a thing. The Downies all stared down as their fellow countryman lowered himself, on behalf of such a being.
“Are you all right, Miss?” breathed Downley, who was enthralled by Upella’s beauty.
“Well, I think so, Sir. I am not really hurt. But, I feel strange.”
“Well, it’s just that I’ve never been down before. So, I don’t know what to do.”
Downley didn’t know what to say. Being down seemed like the normal way to be, although he could see why Upella didn’t want to stay in the mud. Even though Downley enjoyed being down as much as the next Downie, he wouldn’t have wanted to stay in mud, either. So, he made what seemed to be a logical suggestion:
“I’ll help you up.”
All of his countrymen gasped. A Downie, help someone up? It was unheard of. The Uppies were just as shocked. What does a Downie know, of up? Yet, no Uppie was willing to help Upella – because none would consider reaching down to where she now lay.
So, all of the Uppies pointedly looked up as Downley gallantly offered down his hand to Upella, and although all of the Downies looked on, they couldn’t bear to go on watching as Downley rose to with Upella to her full height, and looked into her eyes. He had never done this with anyone else, because he was so accustomed to looking down. But once he looked into Upella’s eyes, he knew he wanted to go on looking into them forever. As for Upella, she hadn’t much enjoyed her voyage into the mud, but while she was down there she’d noticed some beautiful little blossoms surrounding the mud puddle, and longed to explore them further. She also thought Downley’s eyes were probably the kindest eyes she’d ever seen.
The Uppies and the Downies held their collective breaths. Could it be? Could citizens of such opposite cultures actually fall in love, and be destined to be together? How could this be?
And yet, it was.
So, Upella and Downley were married and went to live in the Middle Land, where their families could pass them on their daily journeys. As you can imagine, both had many adjustments to make. But despite these adjustments, they lived happily ever after. Perhaps you even know their daughter. Her name is Mid.
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