The wild wood

Most post-apocalyptic fiction is set in large population centers.  Contrasting a bustling, high-tech bundle of skyscrapers against dramatic decline is effective and familiar.  Quite a lot of people live in big cities.

There’s much that can be overlooked between these few bustling hubs.  Condos sprawl into suburbs that fade into farmland or nothingness.  There are places that barely justify a post office and ‘cities’ that are a four hour drive from anywhere with buildings more than a couple stories high.  But people live there too.

Well, very long ago, on the spot where the Wild Wood waves now, before ever it had planted itself and grown up to what it now is, there was a city—a city of people, you know. Here, where we are standing, they lived, and walked, and talked, and slept, and carried on their business. Here they stabled their horses and feasted, from here they rode out to fight or drove out to trade. They were a powerful people, and rich, and great builders. They built to last, for they thought their city would last for ever.

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame