Once upon a time, there were two hedgehogs. One was tall, the other was quick, and both enjoyed eating very much. Quick Hedgehog would share recipes with Tall Hedgehog, who would say things like, “That sounds pretty cool, but I need the measurements if I am going to make it.” Other times, Tall would bring food to Quick’s house, and Quick would say, “This is technically pretty good, but your presentation sucks!”
The two hedgehogs loved each other’s company and discovered that they each learned a lot from cooking and eating together. When Quick moved to a city far away, Tall was lost for a time. But not for long – the two hedgehogs always compared notes and continued to share their recipes by mail. Both of them knew that this was not just about cooking. Both of them knew that, as long as they each believed in each other, Everything would be Ok.
Ten years went by. Then another ten years. And then another. In three decades, the two hedgehogs had each earned a few grey hairs, and had many adventures. Quick became a farmer, because that’s what he had always been anyway. Tall became an engineer, for the very same reason. You see, when Everything is going to be Ok, you will eventually find out what you already are, and you will become that. The two hedgehogs learned this, together, in separate parts of the world.
One day, Tall received a letter from his hedgehog friend. Only it wasn’t his friend, it was only a dream of his friend (don’t try and figure that out – this is just a story, ok?) In Quick’s dream, we can see Quick climbing a tree in his backyard, and telling us there are apples, just out of reach, and that he wanted them for a pie. “What kind of pie?” asked the Tall Hedgehog. Quick just looked down, smiled, and said, “If I really have to explain, you’ll never understand.”
Once again, Tall was impressed with Quick’s uncanny brilliance, and the farmer’s intuition that had always evaded Tall’s engineering mind. Tall Hedgehog thought for a moment, then turned around to face the tree Quick had been climbing. Tall Hedgehog started to say, “Apple pie! You want the apples for apple pie!” But even as he opened his mouth, Quick had climbed higher, and higher, and higher – until he had passed the top of the tree and disappeared.
That was the last time we saw Quick. Some of us will wonder if he found the apples he needed for his apple pie. For Tall Hedgehog, there remains the never-ending questions: how many apples? What kind? What are the measurements for the other ingredients? How can I ever get this right without the colorful creativity of Quick Hedgehog?
But even as these questions are asked, the answers are right at hand: If you learn to believe in someone when they’re close to you, you will find that you can still believe in them when they are far away. Even so, if you know someone believes in you to your face, you must know that they still believe in you when they’re gone.
Thank you for believing in me, Quick Hedgehog.