Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trilogy, part III

Trilogy Part III

This is the third of three stories that I remember from high school, as told in church or Christian functions. I don’t know why they have stuck with me- perhaps it is because they resonate with my soul in a certain way. One can tell that they are old-time church stories, but they each have validity for their place in illustrating important truths. Thus, let us examine them, and whoever has ears to hear, let them discern with understanding. 

The Boy and the Boat

Once upon a time there was a young boy. He would go to the park each weekend to play and watch the birds at the lake, and hang out doing young boy things. One weekend he saw a toy boat on the lake. How its sails billowed in the wind as it sailed along the shoreline, canting off to one side as it was propelled along! Strings kept the sails in place, and it worked exactly as a large scale boat would. 

The little boy got excited and decided he wanted a toy boat. So he went to the library to learn how to make them. He studied hard and learned about the resins needed to make the boats waterproof. He learned about pulleys, rudders and how to weight the boat properly so it would stay upright. He learned about how to use steam to curve the wood so it would make a smooth side.

Finally, equipped with this knowledge, he went to a craft store and bought balsa wood meant to construct doll houses. Flat planks, square beams, string, pulleys, resin, paint and a pillowcase soon were in his bag. You see, he was an industrious boy and saved the quarters he made each week from completing household chores and cutting the neighbors lawn. Each day he would run home from school to work on his project. 

After a lot of care, effort, and work, he finally finished his little boat, and took it to the park to sail it in the lake. He got a long stick to maneuver the boat, for you see this was back in the days before powered boats with remote control were available. He placed the boat in the water on the shoreline as the breeze caused the sails to billow. Off it went down the shore with a small wake of foam streaming along its bow! How merrily the boy chased after it, skipping and laughing. But then, something unexpected occurred. 

The wind shifted, and as it did, the boat turned out away from shore. He reached out with the stick, but it was too late. The little boy watched, crestfallen, almost in disbelief, as his boat was taken out to the middle of the lake. He waited, but the sky began to darken, and he would be late for dinner. So, sadly, he trudged home. He thought about his little boat and determined to look for it at the lake on the way to school the next day. 

He passed by the lake early the next morning, looking to and fro, but with no sign of the little boat either on the lake or the shoreline. With a broken heart, he went to school that day, the air sucked out of him. He visited the lake in the park every chance he got whenever he had some free time, but it never did reappear.

Several months went by, and the little boy eventually passed by the crafts shop where he had bought the materials he used to make the boat. And there in the front window was his boat! His boat! He ran into the store and up to the gray-haired bespectacled man behind the register.

“I’m sorry young man, but that boat was sold to us and we are now the rightful owners,” the shop owner explained. ”If you want it, you will have to purchase it.”

“How much is it?” he asked.

“Twenty five dollars,” the shop owner replied. It was for the young boy, a princely sum. His little brows drew together and he knew what he must do. He ran all the way home and went to get his piggy bank, bursting it open on the back steps of his house. Gathering all he had, he ran, pockets sagging and pants jingling all the way back. 

He gave all he had to the shopkeeper. After some counting, he turned back to the little boy. “This is enough,” he told the boy as he handed over the boat and a receipt. 

The little boy cradled his boat with tears of joy, as he said to it, “I made you, then I bought you. I made you, then I bought you.”

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