Tag Archives: wagon

Tale of Two Wheels

Today you are a wagon, filled beyond your capacity with your payload covered with an old dingy canvas tarp. Your wooden sides are weathered and creaky, held up by a few spindly timbers that look themselves to be nearing a breaking point. Your cargo is held aloft on old wooden pioneer wagon wheels and the wooden spokes are also weathered and worm-holed.

I see you leaning to one side on the edge of a road on a cloud covered, misty dreary day. The road is wide and has solid gravel paving most of the path but one of your wheels has managed to find a very deep rut at the very edge of the roadway and it is lodged deep in that rut, covered deeper by the mud from the wet weather. wagonWheelThe other wheel is strong looking, with smooth well varnished spokes and steel capped wooden edging that has had great care taken in its painting and upkeep. It is well situated on the road but is tied by the axle to the wheel which is stuck in the mud so the whole wagon cannot move.

As people walk by they see you stuck on the side but one by one, they notice you and move to the other side of the road casually and pass by trying desperately to appear like they don’t even see you. Some busy themselves specifically while they pass you, by opening books, or rummaging through their handbags, or by engaging in conversations with those they are with. But in each case these activities only begin at the sight of your duress, and end after they pass you by.

Then I see an old beggar man, dressed in grungy looking clothes with a long beard and a weathered face. He walks with a tall straight walking stick and doesn’t look to the left or to the right as he walks along the road. Long before he sees you his path is adjusted and as he approaches you it becomes apparent that his path is directly on course for you. When he gets to you he doesn’t stop to assess anything but immediately gets to work with his bare hands digging down into the mud beside your lodged wheel. When he has dug deep enough, he takes his straight walking stick and lays it on the ground in front of your wheel, lodging it under the lead edge. Then he moves to the front of the wagon and lifts your hitch and begins pulling. With a slow constant gradual movement he easily pulls you out of the ditch and straightens you out onto the middle of the road way. Just as he does, a crowd of people have gathered and are standing around watching.

Then he looks at the crowd, then at you. In one fluid motion he grabs a corner of your dingy canvas tarp and throws it violently off the top of your cargo, sending it far off into the ditch. Uncovered now is a huge pile of gold coins and diamond gemstones. When the crowd sees them they look back at the old beggar to see what he will do next but he has also transformed. He too had cast off his own grungy robes and threw them into the ditch and in the place of a beggar is now a regal looking tall officer dressed in a regal looking white uniform with a captain’s hat now resting on his head.