Author: chochowilliams PM
This is a Morality tale about a man who falls into a ditch.Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst - Words: 1,106 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-21-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3094057
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A man falls into a ditch.
At first, he doesn't call out to the passers-by for help. He is a proud man who refuses to accept handouts. So instead, he tries to leverage himself out of the hole into which he has fallen. Though it quickly becomes apparent that it will not be an easy task, the man is not intimidated and presses forth.
Time and again, he tries to ascend out of the ditch, but each time, he looses his footing or his grip slips and he ends up back where he started-at the bottom of the ditch. Though growing frustrated, the man refuses to give up and tries again and again and again.
Eventually, the man is forced to admit that there was no way he could possibly get out without assistance. So swallowing his pride, he calls out. Though the passers-by can hear the man's cries rising up out of the ditch, not one of the pedestrians acknowledges the cries for help until a kindly looking grandmother approaches. She glances into the ditch and seeing the man, clucks her tongue and shakes her head, bemoaning his plight, but then she too continues on. Not long after, a young college student stops, drawn by the man's continued calls. He grumbles angrily about a government that would allow its citizens to suffer like this before tossing some spare change at the man and continuing on.
Though disheartened and exasperated, the man refuses to give up. He continues trying to claw his way out of the ditch, pausing for brief moments to rest and call out for help. It was in that fleeting moment of rest that another passerby-an executive from a Fortune 500 company-happens to glance into the ditch and seeing the man lazing about, sneers and goes on his way.
Time passes in this fashion for so long that the man looses all sense of time; one day blurs into the next until the man has all but forgotten what it felt like to be among the hustle and bustle of the countless passers-by he could hear though not see. He was beginning to think that he was never going to get out of the ditch.
Then just as he was on the verge of losing all hope, he finally reaches the top of the ditch. He was about to pull himself out when his exhilaration turns to despair as a business tycoon rushes passed, cellphone in one hand and document in the other. Distracted, the executive knocked into the man, sending him plummeting back into the depths of the ditch. Without so much as a glance back, the executive continued on his way, yapping on his cellphone the entire time.
It was all too much for the man who burst into tears, a gamut of emotions surging through him.
Exhausted, the man sits there on the dirt ground at the bottom of the ditch rocking slowly back and forth while hugging his knees to his chest and staring blankly at the dirt wall of what he beginning to realize is now his home.
The man is not sure how long he sits there when he hears a voice calling out to him. Startled, the man glances around before realizing the voice is coming from somewhere above him. The man looks up, squinting and shielding his eyes from the harsh glare of the mid-summer sun. There is a person-a male if he is not mistaken-hanging over the lip of the ditch! The man's eyes widen, his hand falling limply to his side. Is that a-hand? Could it be?
Scrambling to his feet, his pulse racing, the man hurried to the wall of his dirt home and once again starts the tedious task of climbing up the side of the ditch, his eyes never once leaving the hand for more than a moment at a time that continues to hover over the lip.
It is not until he is halfway up the ditch wall that he realized this could be a cruel joke. His frantic scramble became a slow crawl. How many people have passed this ditch since he inadvertently fell in? How many have glimpsed him within the ditch, been witness to his distress and have done nothing? Even those who appear to be sympathetic to his plight-like that elderly grandmother and the college student-had not lifted a hand in his aid. Why would this time be any different?
An arm's length away from the hand that had remained dangling over the lip of the ditch, the man pauses and eyes the limb suspiciously. His supposed savior urges him to take the hand.
Is this what it is meant by once bitten twice shy?
Tentatively, the man stretches his hand out towards the other's man offered hand while the image of the hand vanishing at the last minute sending him plummeting back into the depths of the ditch plays repeatedly in his mind.
The man gulped. Had this really been a good idea?
Even when his hand is engulfed by his rescuer's hands, the man's doubt in the sincerity of this supposed savior did not lessen.
He was hauled up out of the hole little by little, loose rock and soil crumbling beneath his weight.
Once he felt solid ground under his feet for the first time in he was not sure how long, the man scrambles away from the ditch on all fours so he does not inadvertently-or otherwise-fall back into it. He made it a fair distance before his legs gave way and he collapsed to the ground. Flipping onto his back, he lay spread out on a small patch of grass gazing up at the blue, blue sky above him, loving the feel of the soft grass under him.
Only then did he remember his savior. Sitting up, he glances around for the other man with the intention of thanking him. Of course, a simple thank you was not adequate to express the man's eternal gratitude, but it was all he could offer. The problem was, the other man-the man's savior-was nowhere in sight.
Out of the dozens of people whom had bypassed the ditch, some sympathetic to his plight and others not, this mysterious savior was the only one who offered the man a hand out of the ditch. He did not offer sympathy, a hand out or a disparaging comment, just his hand.
Whomever his mysterious savior was and wherever he had vanished to, the man would always consider him his personal savior.