“Where are you going?” She inquired.
He looked down at her, and smiled. “Where are you going?”
The girl wrinkled up her nose and whined, “OK. Look, I’m just trying to help you, Mr. What’s wrong with you out here wondering about?”
With but a smile, the withered figure hobbling on a crooked leg and a limp in his walk, continued down the path of an empty dirty road.
He said nothing without breaking his lumbering stride.
With a look of shock, the young girl looked out in the distance to see the decrepit house at the end of the trail, stopping in horror at the thought of what lies ahead.
“You can’t go there. That’s where that wicked man lives.” The stories she had heard. “He’s done very, very bad things. It’s dangerous. You can’t. You can’t.” She begged.
Without missing a beat, he responded in kind, “I have, and so have you, done bad things” as he continued on his same course.
“But, but, Mr. please.” Trying to get him to come to his senses. “He is sick. I heard he’s even dying.”
He turned not to her, but kept his gaze straight forward. “Yes, he is. We all are. And, so are you.” His only reply as he continues forward.
Exasperated, she throws up her arms and screams. “I am not responsible if you fall on your way down this path. I’m not going to come get you if you start screaming for help.”
“Help, yes we can, when we help ourselves. Help others we must, as we should ourselves.” His voice trailing off at the end.
“Why do you talk in riddles? That’s not very nice.” She inquired. “And, why don’t you slow down?” As she tried to keep up.
There was silence.
The silence grew louder, as the little girl became more and more frustrated with this grumpy old man who refused to understand the danger he was in by going to places he shouldn’t be going and seeing people he shouldn’t be seeing.
Finally, he spoke as he walked. “One day, you too may be living in that old broken down house, sick, alone, and dying. And, if that day should come to pass, I’ll come and see you too.”
Stammering away, she looked down at herself no long a little girl. In fact, she wasn’t a girl at all. She, herself was as old as he, and she too had a crooked leg and walked with a limp.