The Choices We Make

If the old one eyed black man ever had a name it had long been forgotten, even to himself.  He’d been selling stories on the same street corner for time out of mind, our great-great grandparents remembered listening to him as children, so we simply called him “Pops”, and like his fables he was timeless.  A gaggle of children had him surrounded today, his straw hat on the ground waiting for donations that didn’t always come, and as he was weaving his tale I paused in my rush to listen.

“…and creatures got to choose what they could or couldn’t do.  Lizards can regrow their tails, and frogs and fishes can change from boys to girls when they want to, and camels can go forever with no drinking water, and whales and dolphins can breathe both water and air, and elephants, why they chose to be the biggest and deadliest of all the animals and they shame us daily with their kindness, and”

“Why didn’t we ask for wings?” a small voice interrupted.  Pops paused, shook his head and  sadly replied “we had to choose once, wings or a soul, one but not the other” and with that he said no more.

As I poured all I had into his hat I walked away with my eyes to the heavens, watching the birds soar on wings man prayed for daily.  I wondered if what Pops said was true, and wondered if we didn’t somehow lose both in the choosing.

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3 Responses to “The Choices We Make”

  1. illyriataylor Says:

    This is a submission to Clarity of Night. Just can’t figure out how to link it yet.

  2. What a wonderful story! Very touching and thought provoking!

    I came by to thank you for reading my submission. I sent in the wrong file, but I took my medicine like a big girl … it was hard, but still you saw the merit in the story, and for that I thank you.

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