The five men have been prisoners for 300 long years.
They have attempted to escape previously, but a lack of unified commitment has always thwarted them.
That, and the guards, ten times their number, who spread lies, doubt and fear among them.
Divide and conquer, that is the motto of the fifty-strong group.
But now a man has come to them with a key to their shackles.
He can set them free but, because of how they are chained, it is a case of all or none.
He tells them that outside there is a great cliff.
It requires a leap of faith into the darkness, but at the other side there is a land of plenty.
I will lead you to this cliff, and I will jump with you, he says.
And who will rule us in this paradise, one man asks suspiciously.
You will elect your own leader, of course, from among your number.
I hope you will pick me, but the choice is entirely yours.
The men discuss it for a while, but they have great courage.
They know there can only be one answer.
They stand looking into the unknown, then hurl themselves forward as one.
From all their lips simultaneously comes a mighty war cry.
I heard a mamma magpie tell her little one who had not done it before and was afraid, “If you don’t leap, you will not see that you can fly, and you will never know how high you can go or how far.”