AnElephantCant be funny this week
The reason is not so mysterious
He tells of a man
He considers a friend
So just this once he writes something serious
AnElephant persists in attacking this great weekly challenge hosted by his friend Al.
Please take a moment to check out this page to see some superb interpretations of the Japanese Haibun, a literary form which explores the relationship between the human experience and nature.
This week as his prompt AnElephant chooses this quote from Gussy the Goose, a character who, he admits with some embarrassment, is previously unknown to him:
Golly, did I hear you say you would be free if you could?
His name was Alex.
As a child in the 1930s he contracted polio, and was trapped by its legacy for the rest of his life.
His right hand was virtually unusable, so he struggled even to sign his name with his left.
His feet were badly misshapen, requiring special footwear.
A typical Glaswegian, he was football crazy, but clearly painfully restricted in participation.
He missed huge chunks of his schooling due to repeated hospital visits.
On leaving, however, and probably because of his cheerful nature, he found a job as an insurance man.
Back then, in the 1950s, this entailed going door to door, climbing tenement stairs, selling insurance and collecting the weekly cash payments.
There is no way of knowing how he endured the constant pain in his feet, trekking through the freezing snow and ice of long Scottish winters, but he did, for 40 years.
He lived his whole life with his mother, my grandmother.
When she died he announced he would retire in two years and move to Mallorca, where he had spent many happy holidays, the milder weather bringing him some relief.
Sure, Alex, great idea, everyone told him, not wanting to dispel his impossible dream.
Two years later he retired and moved to Mallorca, where he lived for the remainder of his too short life in comfort and warmth.
a few years of freedom
for a lifetime of courage