In a part of the world a man did live, a man that wanted to build his own home. After years of searching for a plot he could build on, he found one near a river. It was an idyllic spot, in summer it was beautiful and in winter it was magnificent. He bought the land for a fair sum. When he had acquired all the materials for the build, he quickly and efficiently built his new home. He had, however, noticed that the neighbouring houses were built higher up than his. He thought they were built like they were to impress others.


After a year the builder noticed that the river water levels were steadily rising, they still, however, did not reach his house.


One night in autumn, the wind and rain battered down upon his home, the roof, being mainly made of wood and thin metal, blew off leaving him venerable to the elements. Then next, the wind blew the wooden walls down. It was a disaster for him.


The next day, when the first light appeared, the Builder inspected his property, the only remaining element of the house he had built was its foundations. Over the next few months he rebuilt, he took a little more time to build his property than he had previously. He built walls with brick instead of wood, he built the roof with wood and slate. He felt confident that the same disaster would not strike twice, alas, he was wrong. On one morning a disaster was heading to his part of the land. The floodwaters were rising, all he could do to protect himself and his property was to erect a flood barrier and hope for the best.


As the floodwater came rushing down the river towards his house, he braced for the impact not knowing how severe it would be. The wave of water hit his house, at that moment he felt the whole house shudder from the impact. Shortly thereafter parts of the Builder’s house fell down. Again he was left vulnerable and again he wanted to stay and rebuild.


After a few weeks of cleaning the debris from the site, he once again set out to rebuild his domain, though this time he would do it with tougher materials and take more time and care. The Builder used strong stone from a quarry for his walls, for the roof he used a tough alloy of many mixed materials. As time went by, his house began again to rise above the foundations, it took several months to complete the build and through that, the weather seemed to have mellowed.


Once the house was fully built, the Builder was impressed, he was positive that the building would last even the most unforgiving weather.


A year passed, then two and three. Nothing had moved the house in any way, it was as solid as the ice of Pluto, that was, however, until the worst weather in three years hit. At first, the weather was bearable, but it steadily got worse. Landslides from the hill above the house came crashing down, huge boulders hit the side of his house but that was not the worst. The worst came later when the banks of the river flooded. It was weaving its way towards the house. He remained faithful and stayed in his building until he could no longer afford to.


The next day he woke up in a neighbours house. He looked out of the window and saw the full extent of the damage inflicted upon his home. He looked around at all the other houses and saw that none of them had been hit as hard as his. After all, his home was little more than rubble. He once again set out to rebuild his home, though this time it was different.


One month later, the Builder’s land was cleared of all the rubble, he destroyed the foundations so he could rebuild them. He rebuilt it higher than usual, the house would be set much higher than the surrounding ground. It was built ten feet higher than anything around it. He would get into his house via a grand staircase at the rear of the property. The build would take a year, but the Builder saw the logical outcome of it all, his house would be a fortress against the unforgiving weather. His only regret was that he did not take the time to build it properly in the first place. Patients was now his saving virtue.


One year later his house was built, it was a fortress built high up enough not to be affected by the river, it was a fortress with thick enough walls to fight back the harshest of winds, it was a fortress with a roof of stone, metal, and wood. It was a fortress that would stand the test of time.

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