A Tale of Hope

Visual Art

Rebecca Hayward



  • A Tale of Hope
    A Tale of Hope


Once upon a planet, long, long ago
A big ugly Virus appeared in the snow
By her mates she was called DIVOC-91
Outlawed in her country – always on the run
DIVOC-91, she jiggled and oozed
She climbed to the top of a leafless tree
Her large body wrapped in a jelly cocoon

It held her dear Babies, all set to hatch,
Afloat, at the ready, in their wet habitat
She sat there quite still in the light of the moon
And waited and waited …and waited till noon!


Out they came, Virus Babies galore
Until there were thousands and thousands and more
At first, like all babies they looked like their Mom
From her bilious grime green
And dirty retch yellow
To her trembling black cilia
Toothy grin, pirate eye
They were, oh so evil, so happy, so spry!

But ….

They grew very quickly and started to change
An odd evolution began to take place,
A bulge here and there, a shift and a shake
Their bodies grew tentacles, spikes and designs
They burst forth in colors, circles and lines
Ready to spar, to attack and to fight-
They swore filial loyalty to their Mother’s delight!


DIVOC-91 called them to order
“We shall conquer the world!
Come hither my dears!”
Born by the wind, they soared through the air
Flying together, shedding nightmares of fear


They reached Mother Earth
She was taking the sun,
Relaxed, unsuspecting of what was to come
They bore a huge hole through and through in her side
She was stunned, she yelled out, she started to cry
But they were, oh too evil, too happy, too spry!
They came out though Earth’s crust
To the green lands above
The forests, the fields, and the cities of Men

A Virus invasion, they danced and they jigged
Inside peoples’ mouths, their noses and ears
They gave them high fevers and eyes full of tears
They made people choke while they spluttered and coughed…
Thus all around Earth humans fell sort of breath
And within a few days they’d withered to death!


Mother Nature enraged at this cruelest of games

“Enough is enough!”  – she decided to act
She pulled from her box the one thing they lacked
The most precious object, a large beating Heart,
Luscious and red, she broke it to pieces
These came alive and they started to spread
Piercing the DIVOCs’ one evil eye
They, unaware, still fighting, still spry!

All of a sudden, right in mid-air,
The Viruses stopped, seemed rather scared,
“What’s happening to us, we feel something’s wrong!
There’s a thumping inside us that sounds like a gong!”
The thumping they felt was none other than hearts
Sending fun, love and joy to all body parts
They began to grow legs, sprouted feathers and wings
Eyes and small hands and pearls fit for kings!

Their Mother, transformed, had become “very good”
She ran about helping the whole neighborhood
The DIVOC-91s did just the same,
They entered their victims’ eyes, ears, and noses
Infused them with health in very high doses
They shot through their systems and made them get well
Men, women and children came back from Hell!
The DIVOCs mutated,  converted, evolved
They’d become something else, so much better, so resolved
To improve day by day, to think, read and write
To embrace Mother Nature and take great delight
In Earth’s new-found happiness, in others’ well being
Flitting person to person on their tireless new wings…

They turned into Spiderleaves, a new kind of bug

Cat-billed Sony Beetles and Bull Bugs that write
Fierce Warrior Shield Beetles, looking worse than their bites!

There were pregnant Pearl Spiderleaves in grand leafy bloom…

Parliament Bugs, Senate Bugs, and large Bridal Grooms….

Hairy-bottomed Arachnids with long, lanky legs…

And many more creatures with crowns on their heads…

Viruses and Men joined hands and sang songs
Of Peace and Good Will and the righting of wrongs!

About the Author
Rebecca Hayward

Rebecca Hayward

Rebecca Hayward, born in Chicago, Ill., USA, graduated cum laude with a BA in Art History at the American University of Paris. She started her formal art training at age 14 with South African painter and illustrator, Pat Fogarty, learning basic drawing and illustration techniques, then began working with Belgian painter and engraver, Paul Franck, specializing in etching and oil painting. Since 1979 she has been living in Florence, Italy, where she perfected oil painting techniques at the Cecil-Graves studio. Since 1995 she has been professor of Life Drawing and Basic Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology of New York and at the Polimoda based in Florence. She has exhibited in many one-man and group shows in galleries both in Italy and abroad