December 18, 2014

A History Lesson

A History Lesson
Janelle Spiers

A man huddled over his desk, scribbling away at a dark piece of parchment.  The paper was wet with black ink and the room smelled of it.  Eventually, he sat back and crossed his arms, reading over the words he had written.  He nodded knowingly and took up his pen again, dipping it in the inkwell. 
At that moment, the door creaked open softly and a small head poked inside.  The man looked up at his son and smiled.  "Come in, son."
"Sorry, Dad.  I didn't mean to interrupt, I just wanted to see how the story is going."  The boy closed the door quietly behind him and hurried over to where his father sat writing.  
“Ah, well, it’s tiring work.  You see, son, the problem is that none of these little people do what I want them to do.  I created them with a willful mindset, and they sure are stubborn.” He said, rumpling his son’s dark hair.
“Why don’t you just make them behave?  Can’t you just tell them what to do?”  The boy asked with a hopeful gaze as he looked over the neatly formed letters.
“No, son, I cannot do that, for that’s not how I intended my little people to act.  I give them all a choice.  I will not force them to do anything against their will, although I try to remind them the right way.”
“Who are you writing about now?”  The boy asked, climbing up into his father’s lap. 
“Noah,” the man answered, taking up his pen again. “He’s still on the boat that he built and all the animals are getting restless. His wife has been grumbling and his sons are starting to get agitated with each other.”
“Dad, how much longer will you leave him on the boat?  Hasn’t he been on it for a long time?”
“Well, the rain has stopped already, but all that water has to go somewhere, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, dad, but…”
“What is it, son?”  The man asked, resting his chin on the boy’s head.
“I just don’t want Noah to sin because of his family.  He’s got to make a good new start to the world, right?  Can’t you help him, somehow?”
“What would you suggest?”
“I think you ought to send Patience to help him.  She could help him to be gentle with his grumbling wife and his grumpy sons.”
“That is a wonderful idea, son.  Here, you write it.”  The man handed his son the quill pen, fresh with dark ink.  The boy set the pen to the page and began to write in big, bold writing.  The man smiled as he read the boy’s words spread out across the parchment.
After a few silent minutes, the boy said, “How’s that, Dad?”
“It is good, son. Very good.”
The boy scrambled out of the man’s lap and looked up into his father’s face.  “I think Noah will do the right things, Dad.  He will behave.”
“I hope so, son.”

The boy ran out of the room and closed the door behind him, leaving his father alone with his pen and his thoughts.  He bent back over the page and smiled at his son’s writing compared to his own; they were exactly the same.  The father read over his work again, took up his pen, and began again to write...

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