They say that one day all the feelings and qualities of man met in a place on earth.
When BOREDOM had yawned for a third time, MADNESS, as crazy as ever, suggested, “Let’s play hide-and-seek.”
INTRIGUE raised an eyebrow, and CURIOSITY, not being able to contain herself, asked, “Hide-and-seek? What’s that?”
“It’s a game,” explained MADNESS, “where I close my eyes, cover my face, and begin to count from one to a million while you all hide, and when I’m done counting, whichever one of you I find first will take my place to continue the game.”
ENTHUSIASM danced of excitement, followed by EUPHORIA.
HAPPINESS jumped so many times that she convinced DOUBT, and even APATHY, who never cared about anything, to join in the game.
But not everyone wanted to play. TRUTH preferred to not hide, for in the end, everyone searched for her anyway. PRIDE said it was a silly game (although what really bothered her was that it wasn’t her idea). COWARDICE preferred not to take the risk.
“One, two, three…” MADNESS began to count.
The first to hide was LAZINESS, who, as always, let herself hide behind the first stone she found along the path.
FAITH soared up to heaven and ENVY hid behind the shadows of TRIUMPH, whom through her own efforts succeeded in climbing up to the top of the tallest tree.
GENEROSITY almost had no time to hide, since every place she found, she believed would be marvellous for one of her friends: a crystalline lake, ideal for BEAUTY; a crack in a tree, perfect for SHYNESS; the flight of a gust of wind, magnificent for LIBERTY. And like that, GENEROSITY ended up hiding in a ray of sunshine.
SELFISHNESS, instead, found a very good hiding place from the start, very comfortable and ventilated, but only for him. LIES hid in the depths of the ocean (Lie, he really hid behind a rainbow) and PASSION and DESIRE in the centre of a volcano.
FORGETFULNESS… I forgot where he hid… but that’s not important.
When MADNESS counted 999,999, LOVE still hadn’t found a place to hide, for everything was already taken, until she found a rosebush and decided to hide amongst its roses.
“One million,” counted MADNESS and began to search.
The first to appear was LAZINESS, only three steps behind a stone.
Then, FAITH was heard talking with God in heaven about theology, PASSION and DESIRE were felt in the vibrations of the volcano.
Because of carelessness, ENVY was found, and of course, it was deduced where TRIUMPH was hiding.
SELFISHNESS didn’t even have to be found, since he came out of his hiding place on his own, it having been a beehive.
From all the walking, he was thirsty and approached the lake where he discovered BEAUTY.
DOUBT was even easier to find, for she was still sitting on the fence, without having decided which side to hide on.
That’s how they went along finding everyone. TALENT was hidden in a fresh meadow, ANGUISH in a dark cave, and LIES behind the rainbow (Lie, she was in the depths of the ocean). Even FORGETFULNESS, who had already forgotten he was playing hide-and-seek, was found.
Only LOVE could not be found. MADNESS looked behind every tree, every stream of the planet, in the mountaintops, and when she was about to give up, she saw the rosebush and its roses. She took a fork and began to move the branches when suddenly, a painful cry was heard. The thorns had injured LOVE’s eyes. MADNESS didn’t
know what to do to apologize. She cried, she begged, she asked for forgiveness, and she even promised to be her sidekick.
Since then, since that first game of hide-and-seek on the earth…
LOVE is blind and MADNESS is always by her side.
By Mario Benedetti