Pebbles

“One….two…..three…four…”

 

The old man squatted lower to the ground, peering at the pebbles which were scattered everywhere at his feet.

 

“….five….six…..seven…”

 

It was just past dawn, and he’d only just begun counting for the day.

 

“….eight…nine….ten…”

 

It was a tedious job, but someone had to do it.  Each day, the old man came back to the same spot to do his noble work.  Each day, he crept out of bed before anyone awoke, and donned his robe and cap.  Each day, he took up his staff, stole a crust of bread and a rind of cheese or two, and made his way to the same little spot by the river.  And each day, he began counting again.

 

“…eleven……twelve…thirteen….”

 

Every so often, he would look up and cast his eyes about the valley.  Sometimes the sun shone brightly, sometimes it rained, and sometimes it snowed.  Sometimes the birds were there singing, sometimes they were absent. Sometimes the fields were full of flowers, and sometimes they were dry and brown.  But the pebbles, the pebbles were always there.

 

“….fourteen….fifteen….sixteen….”

 

The old man sighed.  Sometimes he felt like all he wanted to do was retire, and stay home each day and sit in the sun, and suck on a nice juicy cut of meat.  But then, who would count the pebbles?

 

“….seventeen….eighteen….nineteen…..”

 

After all, someone had to do it.  If no one did it, well……the old man shivered.  It did not do well to dwell on such things!

 

“….twenty…twenty-one….twenty-two….”

 

It was a pity that such noble work so often went unappreciated by ignorant people.  And it was also a pity that the world was so full of ignorant people. In the end, it seemed that nobody really UNDERSTOOD.  Yes, there were those kind people who pretended to understand, but they didn’t. Not really. Nobody truly understood.

 

“….twenty-three….twenty-four…”

 

With a sigh, the old man shifted his stance a little as he squatted close to the ground, peering at the pebbles.  His joints were stiff, his bones were old, and his eyes were tired.

 

But somebody, somebody had to count the pebbles.

 

There was simply no other way.

 

“….twenty-five…twenty-six….”

 


Every now and then I take time to write little snippets like this for practice. They’re not particularly refined, but they’re fun and they keep me in form.  Rather than create whole pages for them, I’ve decided to share them (or at least the better ones) via my blog and facebook page.  I hope you enjoy them!

-Jack

 

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