The Wallow Hut

By Katherine R. Rich

Reprinted from Let It Grow, 2016


Head and Heart have been separated. Heart has been imprisoned by the three sisters: Jealousy, Bitterness, and Resentment. It is held captive in the Wallow Hut, a prison made of thorns, surrounded by Jealousy’s thorny and venomous tentacles. Bitterness flies about with hideous, greasy wings armed with a scathing whip. She is ready to flog anyone who might take her prisoner, and bring her to a place of acceptance. Sister Resentment stands guard at the gate, looking down upon all with a gaze full of poison. The harpies guard their territories with intense fierceness and fury.

The jealous one is needy; she is driven by the seeds of envy. Fear is the juice that flows within her veins, emitting a foul stench. Slowly wrapping her tentacles around Heart, she whispers, “You cannot escape, my sweet. You covet an idea of happiness that you cannot have. It is unobtainable to you because you are not good enough, you are a failure.” Heart is paralyzed.

Resentment stands back and watches, wringing her hands in devilish delight. Not yet ready to speak, her manipulative mind dreams of ways to show Heart her hateful side. Resentment wants everyone to feel the pain that Heart feels. Resentment wants to fill Heart with thoughts that are not loving, but are filled with hostility and ill will. She wants Heart to view the world with negative, judgmental, and scornful eyes.

The bitter one is ugly; she is dirty. She flies about, taunting Heart with an ear grating squeal, “Your happiness has been taken, you will never find it again. Life is hard. It is full of suffering and pain. Love, beauty, and compassion are falsities. Your misery is the only reality. You are trapped forever!”

As she swoops in and out of the Wallow Hut cackling her insults of doubt and hopelessness, she whips Heart over and over, forcing her back into her prison. “You are not allowed to pass! You must stay here where you belong, floundering in your misery and suffering.” Love will only disappoint you, faith will wander off, happiness will trade you in for another. Why waste your energy?” Heart shrinks back into the Wallow Hut to tend her wounds.

Outside, Bitterness hovers, purring intently with the satisfaction of breaking another kind and beautiful soul. Heart is overwhelmed. So trapped, so blinded, unable to see the golden road of self-worth and self-love, she is reduced to almost nothing. Jealousy, Bitterness, and Resentment have Heart exactly where they want her, cowering, afraid, and weakened by the constant torment.

Trapped and bullied by these hideous guardians of misery, Heart does not know she has the tools to free herself. Heart does not believe in her own strength. Heart is unable to love herself. The sisters are pleased, knowing that as long as Heart cannot find love for herself, she is theirs to toy with and torture. They remain vigilant, unwilling to let anyone or anything near their precious hostage.

Head knows better. Head waits patiently.


Kat wrote this in 2009, about a life-changing tragedy. Her heart did, indeed, catch up to her head, and with a little help from her friends she is back on track and has completed her Masters in Arts Development and Program Administration. With art, Kat has found her path through the pain, and emerged into the light as an inspiration to those who know and love her.

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