Friday, January 7, 2011

The Quest (A Parable)

Once, there was a baby. The baby chuckled and smiled and waved his hands in excitement in a high-chair in the light of a sunny window. Daddy placed a bowl of Cheerios on the tray. Excited, the baby waved his hands and reached for the treats. He knocked the bowl from the tray and the circles flew into the light, then danced down joyfully onto the floor. Daddy replaced the bowl. Baby looked at Daddy and then at the bowl. Baby snickered and waved his hand again. The Cheerios fell. Baby saw that it was good. Daddy put a new bowl on the table. Baby raised his hand . . .

The baby became Boy. Boy walked the street home from school one winter's afternoon, the asphalt slick and as shiny-black as a piano from the slow melting of the snow. Another lad was weak and he was fat and he was surrounded by other children calling him names and kicking the puddles onto the legs of his jeans. Looking around at the empty windows of afternoon houses, Boy thought for a moment. He felt bad for the fat boy, but something gripped him. He wanted to stop. He saw that it was bad, but that it was also good. Boy lifted up a chunk of icy snow and his heart soared . . .

Boy became Teen. Teen slouched purposefully in a classroom as the teacher spoke of Shakespeare. The teacher picked Teen to say whether he liked the poem. Teen said, "It's stupid. It doesn't make any sense." The teacher became angry -- not on the outside, but somewhere under the eyes. Somewhere in her deep and sincere heart. And Teen saw that it was good. It was good to say that things were stupid.

The teen became a young man. Young Man was small, so he purchased a large truck which he drove close to the bumpers of others, whether they drove slowly or fast. He sounded his great horn, though he could barely see over the wheel. He sought out the bodies of women, as many as he could. Alone, he would sit thinking about risk; about the hearts he saddened. But at bars, he told other young men of his deeds. They slapped him on the back and bought him bottles of beer, and he saw that it was good.

The young man became Old Man. Old Man complained to anyone who would listen, because he saw things more clearly than they. Old Man convinced himself he was wise -- he had to be, with all of those years of living. Old Man yelled at scared boys who passed too closely to his house. They feared the old man in the house with the perfect lawn and they ran when the screen door squeaked. And he saw that it was good, for he was wise and he was strong -- maybe stronger than anyone else he had ever known.

One night, Old Man died in his bed.


  1. First. Also, this is why some people don't write blogs. Because they read something like this, are astounded by it, and sit there with an awkward turtle. This is unbelievable and I would love to see more like these. Well played sir. Well played.


  2. I thank you my friend. I still await prestidigitation. If you haven't, check out my other parable, so far: "The Corpse in the Garden." Then, you shall see more of these . . .

  3. This has the makings of a great children's book...

  4. A depressing one. I can picture the kids being enraptured, then Mom says: "One night, Old Man died in his bed. The end." WAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! haha.