Here, our new and knowledgeful friend Hopper, who appeared in the woods to teach us hurdle-making, further educates us on the way to split hazel.

The advantages of splitting wood for hurdles are twofold - it makes the end product lighter, and it requires half the amount of materials.

The disadvantages include the time, skill and patience needed.

Hopper, having shown us what we needed to go on and acquire hazel splitting ability, then drifted onto wider issues, such as:

how to accurately measure a tree's height, with a small stick;

recycling, its importance and futility;

the origins of human life;

universities, and education, as distracting dreams of superior integrated consumption, whose true motive is a credit-based economy-boost, and an unemployment buffer;

and the living death of brain function.

He describes himself, and seemed to truly be, an optimist, despite his occasionally dismal predictions and observations.

And he proved himself an optimist, by teaching us what we asked, despite his having advised us against building a hurdle platform. "It's too much, it'll take ages...".

It is to his huge credit, and our great fortune, that despite his doubt in our abilities, he thoroughly taught us the basic techniques we would need.

And we are smugly happy to have got the job done, too.

thankyou Hopper.

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