Monday, 11 May 2015

THING and the Great Person

There were times when the town’s folk all got together for a reason; some days it was good reason, and other days it was bad one.

Today, however, everyone was to stand at the rail station and watch as some great man in a coffin, passed through on a stately train. Some person who had been great, perhaps a past president or maybe a senator, or a world class sport’s star.

It wasn’t always men, it could be a lady who had once sang opera, or a woman who had discovered some rare fact in science, or even a female president or prime minister.

They didn’t always pass through on a train, some days they were on a motorcade, other times drawn by magnificent horses – always to prove one thing that the person passing had been great once and should be revered in death.

So as Thing sat at the mouth of his cave, he felt that it was his duty as a citizen of the town, to pay his respects to the great person who was being transported through the area on a train - taking them to their last resting place in the mountains.

It was still early as Thing made his way down the mountain, and the sun hadn’t yet risen properly. As he passed Mistress Shore’s house, he saw through the window, her daughter Helen feeding her invalid mother by spoon and then wiping her face, when she had let some food spill from her mouth. Thing stood long enough to see Helen kiss her mother on the forehead.

As he crossed the main road, a man on a cycle waved to Thing and he returned the compliment. Being pulled behind the bicycle was a little wooden trolley and sitting in it was the man’s son. The boy had been damaged at birth and would never stand on his own, but every morning without fail, the boy and his father would travel together around the town; waving and shouting, shouting and waving at being given another day together.

As Thing approached the station, he saw young Joe help the elderly folks down off of the town’s bus. When important things happened, like a great person passing through the town, Joe would take his own bus and pick up those too old, or too weak, or too tired to make the journey. He had a good heart, everyone said so.

Annie, the lady who ran the station was dressed in her best uniform and was helping those who wanted to sit, to the seats she had set up at the far end of the platform. She also arranged for boxes to be placed along the back to allow the shorter folks among them to see over the taller (that included the kids).
Old Tommy, the baker, had made up sandwiches and, usually, on these occasions, gave them away at a fraction of the price it had cost him to make them. He said it was an investment and that folks usually came back and bought stuff from him at the right price.
Mrs Alice Beaumont, had been a great singer in her life (and now retired) still brought her voice out now and again to sing the national anthem – which she did with gusto (everyone said so).

And as Thing stood there waiting in excitement for the train to pass with the great person – something struck him: the world is full to the brim with great people. It’s just that they all do it a little quieter, or perhaps more in the shadows, than some, and that as they all stood to watch a great person pass on a train – he or she was really just representing all the great people on Earth.

And then Thing smiled because he realised that there are more great people living, than there are bad folks.

That made him smile all the back up to his cave, where he would sit and wait on his family returning.
One day they’ll be back, he thought.

bobby stevenson 2015
 thoughtcontrol ltd

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