Of wisdom

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Of wisdom
Posted by:  Anton Shepelev (anton.t…@gmail.com)
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2017

I have set down this fragment of an interview I just
saw on the TV by way of an exercise in  the  writing
of,  as  THE COLONEL  used  to say, a coherent para-
graph.

My grandfather paid little heed  to  the  household,
but  that  summer, unexpectedly, he had planted car-
rots, and by coincidence it was the  summer  that  I
first  fell in love.  I could not conceive of a bet-
ter way to please the girl  than  to  give  her  the
whole  yield  of  our carrots, which I did.  But the
next day she went for a  stroll  with  another  boy,
four years my elder (I was seven.)

Futher  to  aggravate my distress, the very same day
my grandfather asked me to  make  a  salad  for  him
specifically  with  his own carrots, so my theft was
soon discovered.  I had a  dreadful  scene  with  my
parents,  which  left me miserable, and upon which I
went to my room and lay on the sofa in stark depres-
sion.

Then who should come in but my grandfather. "What is
the matter?" asked he.  I told him all -- that I had
met with a betrayal from the girl I loved and with a
lack of understanding from my family.  That  was  a
moment,  I said, for any decent man to terminate his
life.

"Is it a well-pondered and final resolution that you
have  made?"  he  asked, to which I answered, calmly
and with perfect sincerity: "Yes,  absolutely."  "I
respect  your  decision," he replied.  I was shocked
and knew not how to continue the  conversation.  "I
trow",  he  went  on,  "now  that you have made your
choice, it does not matter much whether  you  effect
it right now or any other time." "No, it doesn't," I
said indifferently.  "Then you  can  do  it  in  the
morning,  so  let  us  now go to dinner.  But do not
tell your parents about it or  mum  will  be  sorely
disappointed."  I found it reasonable and agreed.

In  the  morning  something  distracted  my  gloomy
thoughts and made me postpone  the  suicide  till  a
later time.  Then what with one thing, what with an-
other, I kept postponing my  self-desturction  until
it  left my mind, imperceptibly to myself.  I admire
the wisdom of my grandfather, who  in  simple  words
explained the formula of life to a little child.

P.S.: My own grandfather offered me a cigarette when
      I was six.  "Come on", he said,  "do  it  like
      the  grown-ups."  The  experience -- the sour
      taste, the burning in the  throat,  the  acrid
      smoke  that  brought  the tears -- was so dis-
      gusting that I have never thought  of  smoking
      again.

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