A man, dressed formally from the belt down, casually above, strolls slowly down the street. He carries his young son in his arms. Soon they come upon a groaning, jerking machine, and they stop to watch as it scoops rubble from the sidewalk.
“Look, son,” says the father. “One day that could be yours.”
The boy’s face beams as the mind spreads and searches to acquire all the wondrous possibilities, grasping, of course, the greatest and most splendid of all.
“What do you mean will be mine?” he asks. “The city?”
“No, not the city.”
“No, son, not this street.”
“No, definitely not those buildings.”
“Those trees that line the road?”
“No, they will be gone soon.”
“The backhoe, father?”
“Not the backhoe.”
The boy is disheartened. He cannot see anything else of worth. What kind of a trick is this for a father to play on a son?
“What then, father? What will be mine?”
The father sets his son down on his own two feet.
“If you are lucky, you will one day fill a cart with some of these bricks and haul it away.”
“Bricks? What do I want with bricks when there are shiny machines and skyscrapers?”
“With bricks you could build a house.”
“But why? There are hundreds of apartments in that one building alone.”
The father shrugs and reaches down and takes a brick from the scattered debris. And he says to his son:
“Well, son, if you do not like your bricks, there is plenty of dirt.”
This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 5:01 pm and is filed under China, Fables, Yichang and tagged with a fable, A story, chinese children, Concrete, Construction, fatherly advice, morality, Progress, social commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.