A Christmas Parable

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM.

The snow had come suddenly last night. I couldn’t help but think of the guys at school. They’ll be happy. All they had talked about the whole Christmas vacation was whether it was going to snow or not. Mother said she reckoned it was about five inches.  Well, to be honest, the snow wasn’t all they talked about. The Hinson brothers were bragging about the new bikes they were going to get. Dennis was eyeing that B-B gun Mr. O’Connell had in his store-front window. Karl wanted a Swiss Army Knife. And Alan Hinshaw laid it on thick about something called an erector set. I didn’t even know what that was…..didn’t care! It sounded expensive, but shucks, his dad owns the sawmill; he can get anything he wants!

I wish I’d a’brought my cap, it’s colder up on this mountain than I thought it’d be.  I just left in too big of a hurry. This is where I come to think. And I’ve got a heap of thinking to do what with Christmas Day being tomorrow and all. We’re getting nothing again this year. Mother said, “Ryne, I’m sorry, it’s 1934, there’s a depression. Someday you’ll understand.  If your dad hadn’t a—”

That’s when I got out’a there! That’s the same thing she said last year. Is this depression going to last forever? And the Lord knows it’s not Mom’s fault. She’s doing all she can do. There just ain’t no work. And I don’t care about the presents. I don’t want nothing. But Billy has talked about a toy train and I’d give my right arm if I could get Coleen that Raggedy Ann doll she keeps a’studying on in that picture book. I ain’t being completely honest. I’d love to have a new bike. A shiny red Western Flyer. I’d wheel into school and park right between Jeff and Chuck. Wouldn’t that be grand!

Shoot a mile, who am I trying to fool carrying on like that. I ain’t got a chance.  Why do guys like Alan Hinshaw get all the luck? Nobody cares about us. Why, I’d leave in a minute if—

“Hello, son.”

I near ’bout jumped out of my skin. I didn’t hear nobody coming up.

“What’s your name?”

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