Little Red Flag

I had a dream the other night about someplace getting blown up.  Someone did it intentionally.  It is called Terrorism and it has been around since man started calling things his own.  Then another guy comes along… and calls that same bit of “something” his own.  Now we have two different “owns”…. which could never ever be shared.  Not in a million years.  That is called man’s ego.

And so it begins.  Fights, scuffles, wars, crimes… and acts of terrorism.

I mention this, not only because it seems we must be on guard at all times against it these days… but also because it is January 31.  And… on this date, way back in 1606….  Guy Fawkes died.

Most people in the U.S. probably don’t know who Guy Fawkes is.  But.  He nearly came away with the distinction of blowing the English Parliament to smithereens. Yes, indeed.

Here is the shakedown.  It was a cold and winterish night, on Novemeber 5, 1605, in the great city of London.  Yes, the eve  of a general parliamentary session, in the Parliament building.  A dude named Sir Thomas Knyvet… who happened to be a justice of the peace… was walking around down in the cellar of the building.  He was probably doing Justice of the Peace sorts of things.

Any way, while he was there… he found Guy Fawkes lurking down there…. in that cellar.  Knyvet saw a little red flag go up…. and  Fawkes was detained and the premises thoroughly searched.

Well, it appears that our boy Fawkes… had carefully placed nearly two tons of gunpowder down there.  He had no intention of powdering a bunch of guns.  Nope.  His plan was to light the whole place up.

In his interrogation, Fawkes revealed that he was a part of English Catholic Conspiracy…. which had been  organized by another ruffian named Robert Catesby.  The big plan was to annihilate England’s entire Protestant government, including King James I.  King Jim was supposed to be attending Parliament the next day… hence… the big boom.

Well….  that was a big no-no for Guy.  And. Over the next few months, English authorities killed or captured all of the conspirators in the “Gunpowder Plot.”  As if that were not enough… they  also arrested, tortured, or killed dozens of innocent English Catholics.   Just because.

After a brief trial, Guy Fawkes was sentenced, along with the other surviving chief conspirators, to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in London. These gruesome executions began on January 30, 1606, in London.  Then Guy’s number was up.  On January 31, Fawkes was called to meet his fate. He either decided it was too much… OR… he was trying to escape.  You see, while climbing to the hanging platform,  he jumped right off ladder.  It must have been really high up there, because he broke his neck,  and died instantly.  Snap. Just like that.

So they could not try the guy for execution for treason.  But either way… it was over for Fawkes.

In remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated across Great Britain every year on the fifth of November.  When it starts to get dark… everyone goes out and lights of fireworks, and bonfires.  Sometimes they burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes.  They celebrate his  failure to blow up Parliament and Good old King James I.

So.  There it is.  An early act of terror…. thwarted. And how can we stop it these days?  Well, sometimes we are lucky enough to have a Justice of the Peace trolling around down in some cellar.  But that is sheer good luck.

I am not sure that there is any answer, or any sure fire way.  But I do know this.  It would help a lot if everyone learned sharing in Kindergarten.  And it would be even nice if they actually did it.  Yes.  If everyone wanted just a little less, and gave just a little more….

And that’s what dreams are made of.