– It was one of those pictures that children are supposed to like – she said – but don’t.
– I know, I was plagued with them too. Rabbits in waistcoats
– Exactly. These rabbits were in fact on a raft, as were assorted rats and owls. There may even have been a reindeer
And a boy was sitting on the raft. Among rabbits in waistcoats and the owls and the reindeer. The picture worried me, I must say. There was an otter swimming in front of the raft, and I use to lie awake at night worrying about this otter having to pull the raft, with all these wretched animals on it who shouldn’t even be on a raft, and the otter had such a thin tail to pull it with I thought it must hurt pulling it all the time. Worried me. Not badly, but just vaguely, all the time.
Then, one day – and remember I had been looking at this picture every night for years – I suddenly noticed that the raft had a sail. Never seen it before. The otter was fine, she was just swimming along.
– Ends weakly – said Arthur – leaves the audience crying. Fine up till there, but needs a final sting before the credits.
Fenchurch laughed and hugged her legs.
– It was such a sudden revelation, years of almost unnoticed worry just dropping away, like taking off heavy weights, like black and white becoming color, like a dry stick suddenly being watered. The sudden shift of perspective that says “Put away your worries, the world is a good and perfect place. It is in fact very easy”.
So long and thanks for all the fish – Douglas Adams