The Metaphor: Part Two.

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

“Got you,” he called, lifting a terracotta pot above his head like a trophy.

The farmer stared at the two oval weals on the leathery skin of his arm. They grew redder by the second, like a ripening peach. The pain confirmed his presence in the world of living, waking folks.

“Why did you do that? Do you doubt my existence?” Snapped the seed. He slammed his palm on the table, causing its contents, including the little zygote, to jump several inches into the air.

“Quite nagging woman!” He shouted.

There was silence. Shocked silence.

The old man continued with his breakfast but the tea was cold and the bread soggy. The moment, one of his precious few good ones, had gone. He pushed the crust of the last slice of bread into his mouth and swilled it down, almost whole, with the dregs of the tea. He’d pay for that later, he thought. In continuing silence, he cleared away the dishes, put the bread in the bread bin and the butter in the pantry. He flushed out the teapot into the small herb garden below the window.

Eventually, he began to wonder if he’d broken the tiny germ. He looked at the table sideways as he dried the bread knife. The seed sat there in indignant silence. A heavy loneliness descended upon his broad shoulders like his ox’s yoke. The one that had introduced itself at his wife’s funeral.

“Hello, I’m Grief. I’ll be visiting you from now on. Me and my siblings. You’ll recognise us when we come – unannounced. Because you’re the survivor. We’ll make you wish you were where she is now.”

From that day on, he kept his promise, that new friend, introducing the strangers, Anger, Guilt, Depression and finally, Hope. They all became his good friends, his new company, his drinking buddies.

The old man slumped back in his chair. He stared at the blurred image of the seed on the empty table. Leaning over it, he blinked, sending a tear falling to the surface below. The droplet of grief fell on the little grain, coating it in salty water. It gave a tiny cough, making the old man start. He wiped his eyes and cupped his hands around the small damp patch in which the seed lay.

“You’re alright!” He rasped, his voice quivering with emotion.

“I am indeed. In fact, I’m better than alright. You see, I can read your grief through the tear you have just gifted me. What’s more, I can now germinate. Don’t worry old man, we’ll have such fun together.” the seed said.

“We will?” Asked the farmer, a smile cracking through his stony features.

“Yes, now where’s that pot?” His diminutive companion requested. The old man jumped up and strode to the door. He crossed the yard to the barn and rummaged around in the corner.

“Got you,” he called, lifting a terracotta pot above his head like a trophy. He rubbed it on his trousers, spat on it and rubbed it again. “That’ll do,” he said, leaving the barn and crossing back over to the house. He bent down below the window and scooped several handfuls of damp soil mixed with tea leaves into the pot. He scraped off the excess, patting it down carefully, then returned to the kitchen and placed the pot on the table.

“Welcome to your new home,” he said and made a tiny hollow in the centre of the soil with his pinky. He picked up the seed and dropped it into the groove.

The seed gave a long sigh-like yawn.

“Thank you old man. I’ll sleep now. See you in the morning.”

He rested his chin on the table so his eyes were level with the soil. Gently, he covered the seed with a thin layer of the dirt, like putting a child to bed.

“Goodnight, my one-in-a-billion,” he whispered. As he did so, something told him that his life would never be the same again.

1 Comment

  1. Kenneth Childs

    Was he thinking had gone insane.

    Reply

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