Village Number One sees the writing on the wall or the smoke in the distance or something lost now to the mists of story, and calls on Village Number Two to join them in vanquishing the monster. Imagine their surprise when Village Number Two says, "Only if you admit you were wrong that time you took our Yahtzee table and turned it into a Tiddlywinks board. You know you did it!"
"Seriously?" says Village Number One. "We've got a monster breathing down on us and you want an apology??"
And Village Number Two, really incensed now, says, "And while we're at it, we don't like your village leaders. Get rid of them and put our guys in place or no deal."
So Village Number One, thinking only about the monster and not about hurt feelings, put a collective foot in mouth, and Hera help them, they laughed out loud at Village Number Two. They said, again, "Seriously?? There's a monster out there!"
Big mistake. Village Number Two said, "Forget it, we're not helping you", and the monster, seeing his chance, ate Village Number One whole.
For a while, Village Number Two (a misnomer, since Village Number One no longer existed, but for the sake of clarity, since I'm not finished yet, let's still call them Number Two) kept a wobbly peace with the monster. The monster grew bigger while they grew smaller and, while some of the villagers stayed awake nights worrying about it, the others chastised them for being such downers when they still had sunsets to watch and cute kittens to giggle over, and so what if they couldn't get coffee or pineapples or couldn't afford whale oil for their lamps? It wasn't perfect but it wasn't sure death, either.
But, as monsters are wont, this one demanded too much. The Number Twos couldn't keep up, couldn't make him happy, couldn't even feed themselves or keep roofs over their heads.
It was a monster!
But they were only one small village. There was nobody else to help them. They never had a chance. The monster, disgusted with their constant whining, outraged over their inability to grow the size of their rallies, and realizing there was no more money to be made off of them, ate them whole.
The moral of the story is that if Village Number Two had only forgiven their differences and worked together with Village Number One they might have had enough resources to take on the monster, destroy him for good, and live relatively happily ever after.
By the time they decided Village Number One wasn't so bad, the monster in their midst had taken matters into his own claws and there was no turning back.
If only they had understood that thing Lady Hillary had tried to teach them:
It does, indeed, take a village.
(Cross-posted at Indelible Ink/Medium)