Justice, Unity and Freedom

Tony gripped his grandma's hand as they walked up the huge marble steps. "See this building?" his grandma began. "It has been around ever since our town was founded. First it was used as an Inn, then a bar, then a museum, and it continued like that until today. where it's used as a warehouse." Her voice fell drastically. Her bent figure hobbled over to the building and she placed a knarled hand on the rough stone wall. "This building isn't meant to be a warehouse," she sighed. Tony stared up at her. He was only six years old but he was absorbing the story like a sponge. His grandma stepped back and gestured upwards. "See those three heads up there. Those are the most important things about this building. They symbolize unity, freedom, and justice. Don't you forget that!" Tony craned his neck upwards. He took in a sharp breath at what he saw. To the left there was a wolf's head colored bright silver with wide brown eyes that stared down on all that lay beneath. To the right was a lion, maw open, displaying all its fangs to the onlookers. A golden mane flowed from its neck like the waves on the sea. In the middle of the lion and the wolf perched an eagle. The bird had its amber wings thrust open in magnificent splendor. Tony stared, mouth agape. His grandmother chuckled at his admiration. "Come Tony. We must head home now."

Four years later Tony's grandmother died of small pox. Tony was placed in an orphanage. The next year, when Tony was eleven, he decided to go visit the magnificent building with the three sculptures. After asking the head mistress for permission, he headed out the door. Bundling himself into his coat, Tony walked down the cobblestone path until he saw the familiar stone steps. Quickening his pace, he bounded up the stairs but gasped in horror at what he saw. The wolf's head was in ruins on the floor and on the wall only a jagged stump remained where it had once been. "Hey kid move it!" cried an old derelict shoving Tony out of his way. Tony tottered on the edge of the step precariously. Suddenly someone slammed into him from behind and he fell down the stairs. Fortunately, he managed to land on his hands and knees but the pain was still harsh. Fighting back tears, Tony picked himself up and limped back to the orphanage. Nobody stopped to help him.

The next day Tony went back to visit the "warehouse". Just as the steps came into view he heard a gunshot. "The bank was just robbed," he realized. There was a robber coming towards him but no one could tell what he looked like because he was wearing a thick black cloak. Suddenly the robber tripped and the bag of money went flying into the air. It landed next to an elderly man who happened to bear a strong resemblance to that of the robber. A policeman ran over to the elderly man and briefly talked to him. Tony couldn't hear what he was saying for the crowd that had gathered was too loud. The policeman cuffed the old man and began to take him away.

Tony was about to run over and protest when suddenly he heard a thunderous crashing. With a sinking feeling in his heart he sprinted up the steps behind him to find..the lion's head smashed on the floor. Tony let out a cry of despair and rushed to the fragments as if they were an old friend. As he touched them gingerly they felt cold to his fingers. Tony gloomily turned his head to see the shattered wolf also. Then he stepped back to look at the only statue left; the eagle. Now its color was dulled as was the beak that long ago glinted in the sun. Its wings seemed to sag as though it was tired of flying. Tony bit his lip and sat down on a bench staring at the eagle. He did so until the sun was high in the sky. He had no doubt that his headmistress was missing him when suddenly he heard a crack. It was distant and unrecognizable but Tony knew what it was. He looked up, bracing himself. As he squinted in the sun he saw a tiny crack on the eagles right wing. It was slowly spreading across the eagles back. "No", Tony whispered desperately. Suddenly he saw a column leaning against the front of the building. He also saw a ridge leading from the column to underneath the eagle. Thinking fast he darted over to the column. Being as quick as possible he crawled up it. Tony stood when he reached the top of the column and stepped onto the small ridge. He began to side step as fast as safety would allow. Tiny pieces of stone were falling from the eagle as Tony neared it. Five more feet .. three more.two more.. He reached out a shaking arm just in time, for the eagle had given way. Thrusting out his hands he caught the figure. Immediately, he grunted at the weight and had to lean backwards. Suddenly, he felt his grip slipping. What could he do? He was afraid to take a step in any direction at the risk of toppling forwards. An idea flashed through his mind. It was risky but he would have to take that risk. Carefully he turned around. Holding the eagle with one hand. And leaning it against the wall. He undid his belt. Then taking a deep breath he tried to slide the eagle up the wall, and back to the stump it left. He strained and sweated in the hot sun. Tony could tell people were watching him. There were shouts of "Look up there!" and "What's he doing?". Ignoring the outbursts he pushed at the eagle for what seemed like hours but was probably only a minute or two. Finally he had it on the stump. Then with great care he tied his belt around it, reattaching it. His belt wasn't long enough so he ripped a piece of his shirt off and worked with that too. Eventually, the eagle was back in place. With relief Tony turned around but the ridge crumbled beneath his feet. He fell.

The onlookers watched in horror as he plunged toward the hard ground and landed with a thud. They ran up the steps to find him, dead. They stared at each other in guilt and sudden realization. Then as if reading each other's minds, each left and came back with a building tool. One by one they ascended the steps and together began to rebuild the sculptures.