Monday, July 26, 2004

langua franca de nostalgia

It's funny, how good, nostalgia can make you feel. Especially when it is to do with your childhood. One such memoir that floods me with nostalgia is my second-grade storybook called Golden Stories. Thought I had lost this book when several attempts failed to locate it in my house.

Yesterday, I was sorting out things and clearing the mess when I found this book inside an old utility box. Boy, am I glad to have it back! This book is a collection of twenty timeless short stories. The publishing year dates back to 1987!

When I read it first, one story in this book carved a niche in my young impressionable mind. It's called Who was to blame? I shall typify it quote un-quote to preserve the simplicity and lucidity of the language.

Who Was To Blame?

Author Unknown

TEN men were one day crossing a field when they were caught in a sudden thunderstorm. Taking their heels, they fled for shelter to a little ruined chapel. The thunder grew louder and louder and every now and then streaks of lightning stabbed at the little chapel. Inside, the men cowered in terror and each one believed that there was a sinner in their midst and the lightning was seeking him out. They had to find the sinner, so each man put his straw hat outside the door of the chapel. The owner of the hat which was struck by lightning would, they decided, suffer the same fate. Scarcely a minute had passed when there was a blue flash and a straw hat lay smouldering on the ground. Without compunction the others pushed its unfortunate owner outside in the storm when the lightning struck again and the little chapel came crashing down.

 And so it was that only the man who had been ejected from the chapel was spared–for their cruelty the nine others paid with their lives.