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Sunday
Aug212011

Two Buckets, Two Ways

1.

Jack and Jill went up the hill. They didn't know each other, mind you. In fact, they wouldn't have noticed each other at all if Jack hadn't stopped abruptly to look at the clouds, causing Jill to plow into him and drop the bucket she was carrying to market. Jill's bucket was dinged up pretty badly but when Jack offered to give her his own bucket which was new and shiny, Jill declined. She hurried away from him, anxious to get to market and fill her bucket. Jack smiled, nodded, and kept about his leisurely pace to market.

There was so much at market that day! Jill hoped she had enough time to get everything she wanted. She scurried from one vendor to another, filling her bucket with each new acquisition. Her bucket had suffered punctures in the fall and some things were spilling out. That made it hard to get it completely filled up and when she got home, after an exhausting day of searching and buying, she still felt as though she didn't have enough. She was determined to go to market the next day and get the things she'd missed.

And what of Jack? He made his way to market, arriving much later than Jill. Some of the vendors, in fact, had already closed, having sold all their goods. Jack was unperturbed, looked around a while, talked to a few people, found a few things he liked to put in his bucket and made his way home where he spent the evening smiling to himself and thinking about what a wonderful day it had been.

 

2.

In another part of town, astoundingly, another Jack and Jill were going up separate paths on another hill, this time to fetch some (you guessed it) water. This Jack also stopped to look at the clouds, at precisely the time their paths crossed, causing Jill to take a tumble and her bucket to fall. What are the odds?

Jack brought his bucket back, full of water, and was happy and content. Jill, on the other hand, had a damaged and leaky bucket now and by the time she arrived home more than half her water was gone.

Every day it was so. Jack made his way to the well and brought a full bucket of water back home. Jill lost more than half of her water on the way back from the hill and had to make many more trips as a result. Jack noticed Jill's dilemma and suggested she get herself a new bucket, but Jill, a creature of habit, was rather fond of her old bucket and paid him no mind. Through winter and into spring it was the same, Jack with his sturdy bucket and Jill with her leaky bucket making twice as many trips. 

It had been a dry spring that year and drought necessitated extra trips to the well for everyone. The hill was parched and dry and the municipality had issued a fire warning for the area. Usually vibrant with color this time of year, the hill for the most part was depressing to see. People took to using only one path up to the well, Jill's path, which inexplicably had a profusion of wild flowers blooming all along its perimeter.

 

The moral of the stories, you ask? Perhaps we are too eager to assign morals to stories. Perhaps things simply are the way they are.



 

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