Who Wins Is Key

Who Wins Is Key

A Story by texasjane

A Day of Discovery

While I was enjoying my coffee and breakfast waffle out by the pond I started watching an inchworm that had caught a ride on the breeze and deposited him on my little table.  I watched him with fascination.  It was amazing.  The little fellow would leap with his front legs then waiting till his back legs caught up.  My grandmother told me every creature has all they need to survive.  They are designed that way.  I also remember she was not happy about having them in the backyard.  They can destroy a garden.  Birds eat them.  I did not want to kill them, I just wanted them to relocate.  I said a simple prayer to help me see how to be more in alignment with God's plan.  Then I closed my eyes and just listened.

I heard a scream that made my heart race.  I heard a child screaming.  I glanced around.  I could not believe my eyes.  The little boy who had tormented Becky at our party last week had apparently been waiting in the trees just on the other side of the pond.  When he stepped out, a snake coiled up.  I gasp and also screamed.  Suddenly, a great horned owl swooped down and grabbed the snake, and flew back to the tree that stretched out over the pond.  I ran to the little boy.  I scooped him up and held him tight.  He was crying, his whole body was shaking.  I just held him and started carrying him back to the house.  He held on tight and just cried.  I was almost to the house when his father came roaring up the drive.  He did not wait for anyone to open the gate.  He just busted through it.  He left his car door open with the engine still going and ran to us.  He instantly wanted to find out what I had done to his boy.

Barbra by farm manager had seen him bust through the gate.  She instantly grabbed some leftover chicken wire and ran to the now open gate.  No one got out.  She proceeded to secure the gate as best she could.

"I have done nothing to him.  A snake scared him out at the pond.  An owl swooped down and snatched the snake but it scared him.  I do not know how your son got here or why he is here.  I have just held him and tried to help him."  By this time the child and his father had calmed down.  "Please come inside so we can make sure he is not injured."  I started to let the father take him from my arms but he would not let go.  "Come on, follow me, you can always yell at me later."  With that, I continued my walk to the house.

I carried the child inside and sent Betty, the house manager to grab a blanket to wrap around him.  He finally let go of me.  "Now, young man why are you here?"  I asked in a very soft and pleasant voice.

"Cause it is your fault my Daddy got fired.  I was going to kill some of your animals to pay you back."  His voice was almost a whisper and he looked straight at his father as he spoke.

"First of all, I did not get your father fired.  He did that all on his own.  He took his anger at the world out on a group of people who would have welcomed him into their community."  I too was whispering and looked up at the man.  "Maybe some people cannot control their anger but kindness is always a choice."  I left the two of them there so I could go and prepare some food to serve as a snack.

While I was gone, Oscar scampered up on the sofa and started chatting.  Then Tarzan started singing.  Suddenly, Hamstring was once again trying to untie loafers and grunting.  Sweet Pea came in and lowered her nose to the top of the sofa.  My pet squirrel jumped on her snout, scampered over the top of her head, and settled on her back.  I came into the room just as Loverboy entered the hallway where I stood watching.  Suddenly, I saw the spitball being formed and grabbed Loverboy's snout.  "No, Loverboy.  No."  The man looked up and realized I had stopped him getting spit upon; again."  He chuckled a little.

Betty came running in all excited.  "I cannot find Becky or Sidekick.  I have looked everywhere."  She was frantic.  "What has happened?"  She saw the little boy who had bullied her at the party and his father who had crashed our party.  I explained to her the best I could about the snake and the horned owl.  "I did not see them at the pond."

"That is cause I got them tied up to a tree.  I killed that stupid squirrel with a short log across her head.  I did not realize you had another one."  The little boy looked at his father.  "I thought it would make you happy, Daddy.  Don't we hate these people?"

The man held his face with both his hands and cried.  He suddenly realized what his hate had taught his son.  Betty and Barbra had already raced towards the group of trees just beyond the pond.  "Jane, can you ever forgive me?  I have hated white people because my father hated them and for no other reason.  Oh, my God."  I listened as he continued to cry.

"Son, I have been wrong.  These are very nice people and Jane even helped you when you were in trouble.  She did not do anything unkind to you.  She just helped you without asking any questions."  He watched his son and then glanced at me.  I was still holding Loverboy's snout.

"I am so sorry, but I have to check on Becky.  She is six years old.  She is a little person like her mother.  She stands eighteen inches tall.  Her safety is my main concern right now.  There is a huge horned owl, snakes, and skunks in the same area where your son has tied her up."  I did not wait for an answer.  I left immediately and headed towards the pond.

I followed the sounds I heard and began crying as I discovered poor Becky, there with a broken leg, tied to a tree.  Betty was trying to untie her.  Grammy laid dead next to her.  Sidekick was also unconscious and showed he had also been a victim of the bloody log that laid on the ground.  "Betty I got her.  Call Barbra and get the car ready to take her to the emergency room.  Then call the vet and let him know about Sidekick.  I will meet you at the car."  Time was important.  I had Becky in my arms.  She was so tiny.  She was shivering because of the shock.  I walked past the table that still had my coffee cup and plate on it.  I saw Loverboy and Mrs. Holcomb, his girlfriend, running towards us.

Suddenly, the owl, which had taken up residence in the tree that grows across the pond swooped down.  Loverboy caught him in midflight and flung him away from us.  The owl hit another branch just as Mrs. Holcomb screamed in pain.  Another snake had bitten her.  Needless to say, my blood pressure was a little high.

The man, John and his son, Johnny; loaded up Becky and her mother into their car and took off to the emergency room.  The vet showed up and I sent him to take care of Sidekick and Mrs. Holcomb.  Thank goodness he knew a little about llamas.  When we got there, Loverboy had his head laying against hers.  She too had died.  Sidekick was only stunned.  I brought a cart full of hay and harnessed the two goats to it.  They pulled his body back to the barn.

I took a deep breath and headed to the hospital.  By the time I got there Becky had a cast on and was sitting up in a bed.  She grinned when she saw me.  Then she started crying.  "Grammy is dead.  I think Sidekick is too."

"No, Sidekick will be okay.  The vet is with him now.  When I left he had come around a little so he will be fine.  Mrs. Holcomb has passed.  A snake that was about to bite me got Mrs. Holcomb instead.  The owl that got the last one was swooping down to get it when Loverboy snatched it in midflight and threw it in the air.  I am not sure how that came out."

John came quietly into the room.  "Ladies I have no right to ask anything of any of you but I do ask for your forgiveness.  I can see that my color means nothing to you. You see me as a man and for a long time, I have seen myself as a black man.  I should have realized that at the party the other day.  You had several nationalities there, including other black people.  I let my hate guide me.  You have shown nothing but kindness towards Johnny after all he has done to your pets and Becky."  I did not want to admit that I saw him as the son of a Siberian sea cook.  That was between my grandmother and me.  I thought about how he had lost his job by shouting all the hate he had stored up for years.  I also knew he was aware of some of the schools around the country that wanted to teach hate.  When it is all said and done, hate will always destroy itself.  I believe that with all my heart.

I looked at Barbra and Becky and then a brilliant idea popped into my head.  "John, do you still need a teaching job?"

"Yes, I do.  But it is too late.  The vacancy my dismissal caused has already been filled."

"No, I am not talking about the public school system.  What do you think about being the teacher at our special needs school?"  I stopped talking and just watched his face.

"Special needs?'  He looked puzzled.

"I have met all the requirements needed to qualify for a grant to open a school, at the Funny Farm, to teach little people,  along with children and adults with special needs.  Every one of your students will or has had to overcome the judgment of those who only see the package and not the person.  Every one of your students will face discrimination because of the way they look.  It is our job to teach them what they need to earn a good living.  I want them to be so good, they cannot be ignored or brushed aside.  Tech skills, language skills, accounting skills, business management, even cooking skills.  If they have a dream I want us to do our best to see about getting them the training they need to fulfill it."

I could see him thinking and shaking his head as if the task was overwhelming.  "I may have to get training in some fields to teach them."

"I know that.  I am willing to help you get the training you need to teach anything you do not already have.  You and I both will both teachers and students."We all remained silent as he thought about the challenge.

 "The only thing I need to complete the paperwork is the teacher.  Can you teach your students to love and respect themselves as well as others?  We all eventually must learn that we should never judge a book by its cover.  What do you think, if you need time to decide, I understand?"

"Johnny clapped his hands.  Yeah!  Can I come too?"  He glanced at Becky.  He walked over and lowered his head.  "I am so sorry.  I did not know we could be friends."  I saw his father's face clench as he held back tears.

"Yes, Jane, I would be honored."  He accepted the position with a yes from each of us.  We shook hands and he was noticeably surprised when he got hugs from Betty and Barbra.

"How do you know the right thing to do?"  Johnny looked at me when he asked the question.

"Johnny, first of all, we all live by the golden rule.  Treat others as you want them to treat you."

"I remember that at the party.  But I left a note telling my dad I was going to punish the people who got him fired.  I thought in my heart that it was the right thing to do.  How do I decide what is the right thing to do?"

"How many people will benefit?  That is how you know.  You can picture making different choices.  The choice that benefits the most people is usually the best thing to do.  Also, one thing you need to do.  You need to like yourself when it is over.  You need to look in the mirror and like what you see."  I looked at his father and got the okay sign from him.

"She is correct, son."  He looked at his father and then back at me.  He seemed satisfied with my answer.  I thought to myself.  That is what my grandmother had told me when I asked her the same question when I was six.  "Jane, you have taught me that kindness is not accidental."

"Believe me, John, I too have learned a lot from today's events.  I am truly humbled and glad you are willing to work with us.  You are forewarned.  We love to laugh.  We may have to dust off your funny bone."

When we all got home we found out that the owl had a broken shoulder and would mend but not ever be able to fly much.  A special nest was made for him, according to instructions from the wildlife people.  I decided that was fine.  He could eat all the snakes or skunks he wanted in his very own tree.  A wildlife specialist would be training us all on how to best take care of the newest resident of The Funny Farm.

Loverboy is still grieving.  We had a funeral for Grammy and Mrs.Holcomb.  Oscar was riding Loverboy who was following Hamstring down the path to the barn.  Sidekick survived his ordeal and was well cared for by everyone.

My day has ended and I realized how I had started my day with a prayer to be in alignment with God's plan.  I also realized that sometimes you get what you want.  Other times you learn patience, timing, alignment, empathy, and compassion.  Faith, perseverance, and humility add to the trust, meaning, and awareness of God's plan as it unfolds.  I had learned to resist the path of hate or anger, to find purpose and clarity.  We all had each other to help us through the grief of those we lost.  When it came to the little inchworm, measuring the world one inch at a time, I could see the beauty and life that had blossomed throughout my day.  I never once had a Hoover Dam moment.  That is okay, I am sure my grandmother said it all for me.  I felt humbled by all the events as they replayed in my mind.

It makes no difference if we get what we pray for or we learn something.  Either way, we win.

Thank you, Father.

© 2021 texasjane

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Added on July 10, 2021
Last Updated on July 10, 2021
Tags: Conflict, Bullying, Choices



Hawkins, TX

I a retired Texas widow. I live alone with two dogs. I love to look for the humor in almost everything. I like to pass along a giggle when I can. Wisdom is also fun to pass along. I like to pro.. more..