Let's set the scene.

You may want to sit down.

It's a sunny day; the grass is green and a beautiful willow tree adorns the country landscape. In the middle of a small patch of flowers sits a young boy; maybe 8 years old, but it's hard to tell from here. The view is very beautiful, almost hazy with wonder. Everything seems to have a slight glow to it. There's even the faint sound of chimes in the wind, and a soft guitar playing a soothing tune.

In his innocence, the boy holds a small butterfly on his finger. The music continues, a bit louder now, and you can hear the butterfly flap it's wings. The little boy watches, jaw agape with awe, as the butterflies takes to the skies.

The butterfly then lands in a spider's web - it's impact accented by a soft "ting" on a triangle. As the sound of this impact reaches the boy's ears, he realizes there is nothing he can do to save the butterfly, and his smile quickly fades.

The boy stands up and starts running home, the wonderful glow of everything now stripped away and the sunny hill is now merely a bunch of objects sharply contrasting with each other. The soothing guitar tune has stopped now, and is now instead playing some deep, emotionally sad chords, accented by a quick up-tempo drum rhythm that nicely describes the child's pounding feet. Tears are welling up in his eyes, but as he runs his mind starts to wander, as will happen to most young boys. This wasn't the first sad thing he has seen.

Still running, the boy has so many questions. All of the questions are the same, and are familiar to mothers everywhere - "Why?" The boy's mind is rushing with information, all the while running through the tall grass to his house. He thinks to himself,
Mother, father please explain to me
Why a world so full of mystery
A place so bitter and still so sweet
So beautiful and yet so full of sad, sad...
The boy arrives at home and immediately leaps into his mothers legs, hugging them tight as if they were the only anchors in this crazy world. Gently sobbing, his mother asks what's troubling him - the nearby father looking concerned and kneeling next to the boy. In an oddly calm voice, he asks the unanswerable, in his innocent voice:
Mother, father please explain to me
Why forests march to desert speed
While snowcapped mountains melt away...
The mother and father listen intently to the stream of questions coming from their beloved child, not knowing what to say - how does one answer the world's questions? We realize the rhythmic drumming we assumed to be the child's footsteps were not the sound of the child's feet striking the ground, but the child's journey through life - as they continue to beat even when the child is still. The child eventually calms down and later that night he is put to bed and falls asleep rather easily, his mind obviously on something more happy. The parents share a hot mug of cocoa downstairs in the kitchen, and sigh uneasily at the situation.
What do we tell our babies, when do we say
A few years pass and our young boy has grown a little, he now reads the paper with ease but has the occasional query about the longer words on the printed page. The previous events long forgotten to all parties, the music becomes a bit more mellow - yet still sad - with some short clips of a soothing saxaphone being thrown into the mix. One day during breakfast, the boy brings the paper to his parents and shows them the article on the front page. It's one of those tragedy articles, more pain and suffering that the media is always bringing to our attention. The parents already skimmed over the article, but didn't really register the information.
Mother, father please explain to me
How a man who rocks his child to sleep
Pulls the trigger on his brother's heart
He digs a hole right to this storm of hatred
The father skims the article again and resumes straightening his tie, not seeing anything that profound, his senses dulled to the world's hatred. The mother reads the article thoroughly and tries to see it from her child's perspective. As she realizes the emotional weight of the situation, and seeing the grief-striken face of her child, she understands. She acknowledges the pain.

The boy asks one more time how this world this world could have possibly come to be...

The parents considered explaining the intricacies of the world, but could not find the words to empart a world of suffering and joy onto the impressionable mind of their child. All is fair, is it not? Equal balance between good and evil? The parents, struggling with their own unreached conclusions, can only blurt out what seems "right."
A precious balance in between...
To a young mind full of wonder and question, these words are not enough. He asks for his saddness to be explained, but to no avail. One cannot answer what one does not know.
Such cruelty and such kindness
please explain...

Mother, father please explain to me
How this world has come to be
Knowing the questions would not stop, the parents conferred for a moment and decided to put the questions to rest with a simple answer. The father gets onto his knee and looks into his child's upset eyes. He explains to him how the world is mostly good, and that the bad things that happen the result of people being mean to one another. The boy was safe, however; God wouldn't harm his blessed followers.
Unequaled in her blessings, oh, I see
... But it wouldn't be that easy... it never is.
Unbridled hatred so extreme, please tell me
Indeed, how can a world full of such extreme hate be a godly world? Why is it this way, why isn't everyone nice to each other? How did it get this way?
Mother, father please explain to me
How this world
Twisted between time and dreams
As the boy grows up, he still struggles with these eternal questions, never satisfying himself with the thought that "this is just the way it is." Even though he told his parents he understood, he did not - far from it. As he grew older and moved into a University dorm, he started taking up the issue with other people, exploring different movements and lifestyles. Would he grow up to be nothing but a Hippie? Is it not possible to care without being an outcast of society? Is it so bad that our boy hasn't accepted the status quo? Even his own religion didn't seem to offer release. Everyone seems to talk about world issues, but it never goes beyond a few words.

The boy grows angry - upset at the world, upset at himself for not doing anything, upset at god, upset at everyone else for being automatons in a society that should care more for the health of mankind. He spends a week stumbling through life, trying to come to grips with the harshness of reality. The drums that had been providing us a strong and steady rhythm until this point suddenly erupt into a broken disjointed beat, with some quick electric guitar riffs to accentuate the gravity of the emotions of our boy.
What's all this talk about?
Spinning down,
Endless words
Nothing's done
... Nothing ever is done, yet the boy comes to terms with himself and the world after speaking with the minister of his church. Our drum rhythm resumes it's steady beating, and the soothing guitar and saxaphone return. After all, God works in mysterious ways, does he not?

Seeing his parents every week, our boy often discusses world events and politics. As the plight of Ethiopia and the starving children come onto the television, the boy notes that his parents ignore the broadcast, probably discarding it as "yet another money-grubbing charity organization."
Mother, father do you know
Why one man's belly overflows
Another sleeps in hunger's bed
We trade our world for a piece of bread
Now used to their son's queries, the parents shake their head and softly chuckle "oh, you!" The boy now realizes that he can't press his beleifs on others and accepts his parent's response with silent remorse. He thinks to himself,
A place so full of color... yet overflowing
Always in black and white
As the years pass, our boy has come into his share of tragedy, perhaps losing a girlfriend to another man or even losing a wife to heaven above; the details do not matter. The boy is on the phone with his mother, opening his heart to her.
Mother, father please explain to me
How this world has come to be
While still blessed in all the things we see
Such a sad, sad home for you and me
Even though her son is going through such rough times, the mother has trouble keep her composure. She's put up with years of these futile questions, knowing that each time one goes unanswered her son gets more and more upset. She bursts out, saying that it's just the way the world is and that the boy would have to accept it.

Already upset enough, this outburst is enough to make the boy slam the phone down on his mother. "What is wrong with me," he thinks to himself. Why is it that I have all these questions in my head?

Frustrated, he wrenches the phone from the wall and screams as the drums start playing their disjointed tune, oh so familiar from years past. This time it's different - this time the electric guitar is quite heavy, playing crazy and wild notes, solo-ing out of place yet still sounding right, in a way that only jazz music could allow. Knowing no other release, the boy picks up a pen and begins scribbling on the walls.
Come and save yourself

There's no God above
And no hell below
It's up to us
To keep afloat
... And onwards.

The electric guitar and the drums get even more wild now, picking up tempo and adding in notes at every opportunity.
Mother, father please explain to me
Mother, father please explain
And silence.

This short fiction is based on the lyrics to the song Mother Father by Dave Matthews, which appears on his Everyday album as track 11. Running just over 4 minutes in length, this is one of the few songs on this big blue planet of ours that brings a tear to my eye. I had to cut out a few verses and a few lines as to not exceed the 250 word copyright limit, but the song is really 400 words long - apologies. CST Approved!