Shaving a round peg to fit into a square hole

So, the door needed a small strip of wood. I went to the hardware store and asked for wood that size. They said, ‘We no longer carry that thin a strip.’

Can you mill some for me? I asked. ‘No, we got rid of the saw.’

OK, I will buy a thicker strip and mill it myself. I worked out how much timber I needed and bought one thick strip. I went home, opened my garage, cleaned the top of the saw and got ready to work.

The piece of timber said, ‘Don't you like me the way I am?’ I do, but you do not fit, so I need to mill you down.

So I cut it into three pieces. It said, ‘I feel all broken up now’. Sorry, I had to do that.

I started to cut and nail the pieces. It said, ‘I am milled and cut to length. Now I feel nailed.’ Sorry, but I had to do that.

I glued it on, nailed it, filled the hole with putty and was about to start painting. ‘I liked the colour I had naturally.’ Sorry, but you are part of a door now, and you have to be the same colour.

I painted the primer, grey; an undercoat of darker grey; then two coats of dark blue. It said, ‘I feel blue, but I hope I fit in.’

I hope most of you understand this story, about how we, and especially the Australian government, are willing to put immigrants through changes to make them fit in.

Paul Agius, Goulburn