6 of 7: HOPE. Somewhere around the late 1990’s, I found a story. It was a story of HOPE. Turned out it was a classic, so I adopted it into my yearly classroom routine. On the first day,I didn’t go over rules, lecture about my expectations, I just started reading a story called, “Puppies for Sale” by Dan Clark.
“Puppies for Sale” is story about a little boy and a puppy. A story that challenges us look beyond the physical and see our communalities. A story that embraces HOPE on the most fundamental basis. A story of HOPE. I still remember those discussions and writings that developed from this “flash” fiction [very short story]. Flash fiction carries all the earmarks of regular fiction: exposition, protagonist(s)/aantagonist(s), setting, conflict, climax, resolution, theme. Short – long – doesn’t matter. If it is classical literature, it is a keeper. A story that transcends the ages because of the truths it embodies.
Rabbi Yeshua told many short stories that have become classics. Traditionally, they are called parables, but they are just stories that He used to illustrate a point. Some were longer than others, but each of them had a special theme. Rabbi Yeshua was born to teach…born to encourage…born to Light the darkness…born to bring HOPE.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matt 7:24-27
Rabbi Yeshua’s stories always kick your mind in areas that you don’t expect. Tumbling thoughts out of their neat little compartments into the messiness of faith. And the truly amazing thing about His stories? The truly amazing thing is how you can read them time after time and find some treasure that was hidden prior to this precise moment. Through His stories, He is still reaching out, still testing, still pushing because He is the Master Teacher. He and His stories are still bringing HOPE to the world.
“The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along wihtout his teacher.” ~Elbert Hubbard
PUPPIES FOR SALE
A store owner was tacking a sign above his door that read “Puppies For Sale.” Signs like that have a way of attracting small children, and sure enough, a little boy appeared under the store owner’s sign. “How much are you going to sell the puppies for?” he asked. The store owner replied, “Anywhere from $30 to $50.” The little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some change. “I have $2.37,” he said. “Can I please look at them?”
The store owner smiled and whistled and out of the kennel came Lady, who ran down the aisle of his store followed by five teeny, tiny balls of fur. One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately the little boy singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, “What’s wrong with that little dog?” The store owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it didn’t have a hip socket. It would always limp. It would always be lame. The little boy became excited. “That is the little puppy that I want to buy.” The store owner said, “No, you don’t want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I’ll just give him to you.”
The little boy got upset. He looked straight into the store owner’s eyes, pointed his finger and said, “I don’t want you to just give him to me. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I’ll pay full price. In fact, I’ll give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him paid for.” The store owner countered, “You really don’t want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies.” To this, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the store owner and softly replied, “Well, I don’t run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands!”
Dan Clark copyright