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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 10. June 14, 1939

The New

The New

You know those little new streets that run up, fronted by new little square houses with blue arid orange roofs, and finish in a paddock! Blind streets. Well, the house was at the end of one of those, where the wind whistled, and it had a simply gigantic old gumtree standing up in front, as if they had carted it from somewhere on a lorry and Just dug a hole for it and said, "You go on growing there." It's all so easy. . . .

At least, you felt this rather indifferently at first sight. It was painted a pale green—that new shade of green—and there were frilly curtains In the windows, and a flower-pot on the miniature porch. Joyfully they must have set up house.... You could tell it. And then the bicycles! Practically everyone they knew must have ridden a bike and parked it there against the fence, and heaven knows how many people, young people, they did know. The easy sort who were always popping in with bunches of flowers and mint, and popping out again. And you could hop over in the evening to see them, and they'd love it, too. And the backyard of the house was in a hopeless mess—that tiny square of rough concrete was strewn with toys and empty baking-powder tins, and then there was—mud. Definitely a new house, almost unbearably so. . . .

But no. For what wonderful promise these new homes have! Here the wind is piping freely. There is bright light, unlimited sky, and sunlight pouring down all round and lifting everything to a new benevolent sphere. There could be nothing more splendid.

Nothing at all. But the trouble is that the people do not realise that their little new houses are a signal. They want to cart in all the old stuff and stick it up in place all over again, when they have the opportunity now to toss out the prejudices and complaints, the intolerance and stubbornness, which all blocks up the windows, and excludes the pure, bright light.

—Celia Frederick.