|A Christmas Lesson
Author: The Emotional Sponge PM
A narrative I had to write for school. More details inside.Rated: Fiction K - English - Friendship - Words: 1,083 - Reviews: 3 - Published: 02-10-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2633967
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N This was written for my Honors English class. We had to write a story about a time we've misjudged someone. Hope you enjoy! Reviews are greatly appreciated.
"A Christmas Lesson"
"Come children, gather 'round," I called out to my grandchildren, waving my arm like a train conductor beckoning passengers aboard. Kids of all ages scurried around my chair, eager to hear one of my famous fireside stories. "This, children, is a tale about a time in my youth when I foolishly misjudged someone by only their appearance. If you take anything from this, you should learn to never judge someone by first appearances alone. Now, let's travel back forty years…"
Snow drifted lazily over a small town in late 1946. The tiny flakes landed softly upon candlelit windowsills. The candles bathed the windows in a warm glow, creating a welcoming feeling. Inside one such house, I lay in front of a roaring fire, warming myself from a hard day of snowball fighting. As the warmth surrounded me, a knock sounded from the front door. I jumped up to answer it, but my dad beat me to it. He was standing in a way that I couldn't see out the front door, so I ran to a nearby window and pressed my ear close to it. I heard muffled voices, then a slam. My father had slammed the door in the visitor's face. I peeked out the window, trying to catch a glimpse of the man my dad rudely turned away. He was a tall, rough looking middle aged man. His grey beard fell down to his chest, covering a few buttons on his shirt. As I watched, he looked down at my face in the window, smiled, and walked away from our house.
My dad stormed back into the living room, distracting me from the man in the window. He was mumbling angrily under his breath something about the homeless and the needy. After he sat heavily in his armchair by the fire, he called me over.
"Son, I don't want you to ever beg for anything. Begging gets you no where in life. That man that came by was a homeless man asking for food and shelter. Do you know why I turned him down?" I shook my head, so he continued. "I turned him down because you both need to learn a lesson. I turned him away so he would learn that he made a mistake with his life and so that you would see that an education and hard work will get you far in life." In my mind, the kind looking man I saw through the window morphed into a harsh, cruel looking man. I saw him as a man I couldn't trust. "Understand me?" I nodded, completely intent on being successful in life. "Good. Now get to bed." The next morning, I had forgotten all about the incident with the stranger the previous night. My friends and I ran around outside, pelting each other with snowballs. An hour into our snowball fight, one of my friends pointed over my shoulder and questioned," Who's that man?" I turned around and immediately recognized the stranger from the previous night.
He smiled at me, and all of my negative thoughts about the man melted away. How could a man with such a loving smile be worthless in this world? I smiled back and he beckoned me over with one finger. Without thinking I ran over to the man and blurted, "Would you like to come back and eat dinner with my family and me?" The man smiled at my eagerness and replied.
"Well son, I don't think your Daddy will let me into his house."
"I promise I can convince him. Please come back?"
"Well… If you're sure you can convince him, then sure!" I beamed up at him, wondering how I could have ever thought negatively about such a kind person. We walked up my gravel path and I opened the door into my house. Upon seeing the man behind me, my father began to get angry. I, however, stopped him and begged him to let the man stay for one meal. After hearing my story about immediately trusting the man and listening to my begging, he finally agreed. That afternoon, we all sat around the table for a delicious home-cooked meal. The man was very polite throughout the entire meal, and we were all surprised when he asked us into the living room after our meal. While exchanging curious looks, we followed him into our living room. When we were all gathered around him, he began a small speech.
"I believe I have a small confession to make… I'm not actually a homeless man. I have a rather large apartment back where I live. I have a good job. I'm a journalist." With a flourish, he pulled off his fake beard. I heard my mother let out a large gasp behind me. "I am doing a special on the hospitality of small town families. In this entire town, your son was the only person to overcome my outward appearance and invite me into your lovely home. For that, I am rewarding your family a monetary prize and your loving son here a special interview for the story. What do you say?" I turned around, a huge smile on my face. I knew this man wasn't a bum! My father was smiling gently down at me and my mother was almost bouncing with joy. After nodding slightly at me, my father looked up and told the journalist," Of course we will."
I looked down at all the children surrounding my chair. They were beaming up at me, some of the girls with tears in their eyes.
"Now, what did you learn from this?" I asked. One small boy called out, "That all homeless people are journalists?" Once the laughter from the children subsided, I asked someone else.
"I learned that you should never judge someone just by how they look."
"Great job!" I complimented, beaming down at him. "That's one of the few things that can get you through life. I want you kids to always remember this story, and always remember to never judge a book by its cover. Now, you young'uns hurry along and let Grandpaw take a nap!" They all laughed and hurried away, thinking about their grandfather's lesson.