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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)

TITLE: Granddad’s Secret
By Robin Ocasio


Granddad was a simple man; A truly humble man.

I can still see him as he was every Sunday morning, standing up front dressed in overalls, hands raised high, bald head tilted back, just worshiping the Lord with all his might. It didn’t bother him none that he was way up front in the very first pew, that he sang loudest of all or that he was wearing them overalls whilst everyone else had on their Sunday finery. In fact, I don’t think he even noticed.

At 6 feet 9 inches tall Granddad towered over most. Grandma used to compare him to the weeping willow trees growing out back around the mill pond. I secretly thought the cartoon character Elmer Fudd, was more apt, but of course I’d never say so out loud. I think it was account of his bald head, the well worn overalls, and easy going ways.

Though he never came across that way, Granddad was incredibly wise. Most folks would probably call him a fool. I suppose, that’s because Granddad had a real knack for coming up short, as most anyone could, and did, get the better of him. In fact, if there was a good deal to be had, well you could get it from Granddad. Likewise, if there was a short end of the stick to be given out, then most likely Granddad had that too.

Granddads ways didn’t bother Grandma none, but they sure did rattle Uncle Henry. She must have known Granddads secret. Uncle Henry didn’t.

I remember once Uncle Henry got so mad his face turned redder than a beat. He stood stiff as a board; both fists clenched at his side, just trying to hold on to himself, but busted out anyway, “Pa, why do you always let folks take advantage of you? Why, that old coot is lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut. He’s got more money than we’ll ever see. He should have paid a fair wage for the fine work you did.”

Granddad just smiled, reached out one gigantic paw and gently cupped Uncle Henry’s shoulder. Granddad looked into Uncle Henry’s eyes real intent for a moment and quietly said something. Then he just went back to work, humming his favorite tune. I couldn’t hear what Granddad said, but Uncle Henry never seemed to get quite so riled up after that time. Maybe Granddad told Uncle Henry his secret.

One day, Grandma and I were walking out back under the Willow trees, arm in arm, when I asked, “Grandma, why is Granddad like them Willow trees to you?”

“Mercy me child, Granddad has a heart of pure gold just like Jesus. See how those branches spread far and wide? Why a body can get completely lost, feel safe and secure under them. Granddads love is just like that, it takes in everyone, and it spreads over anyone who comes near. Granddad, just plain loves folks and loves on them. He is who he is, no matter what.”

“Why, doesn’t Granddad ever get mad or stand up for himself? Folks are awful mean to him sometimes.”

“I asked Granddad that same question once, a long time ago when we was courting. He told me that as near as he could tell, according to the good book, most all of the evil in this world came about because someone was busy wishing they had what some other fellow had, was holding a grudge, taking offense, trying to hang on to something, get what wasn’t rightly theirs or get back at one another.”

At my questioning look Grandma continued, “Why, even Lucifer fell because he wanted what the Almighty had. Then in the garden, Eve ate that apple just to get more knowledge, and even Cain killed his brother Abel because he was cross that his offering wasn’t accepted by God. Of course it was the wrong one, but that didn’t matter to old Cain. He was just mad at God and Abel for an offense that should never have been taken.

I slowly nodded my head up and down, pondering her words. “I see what you mean Grandma, but just how does Granddad do it?”

“Well, child, love is a powerful thing. Granddad figures that it’s his job to keep his heart full of love for the Almighty and his creation. So that’s just what he chooses to do. A body just can’t live any better life than that.”

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This article has been read 186 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/27/14
Awww, the wisdom of grandparents is priceless. The love and serenity that the MC exhibited is something in which all Christians and individuals overall should strive for. Ultimately, the foolishness of the world doesn't matter any longer, when we're clothed in His word, it makes us stand tall spiritually. (Or as in the MC's case, both physically and spiritually! )

Nicely done and said.

God bless~
Jules St. Jermaine 02/27/14
I enjoyed this story very much. It made me wish I would have known my own Granddad. Thanks for writing and God Bless!
Toni Babcock 03/01/14
Well written dialogue, and colorful characterizations stand out in this piece. Only one spelling error, the word beat should be 'beet' as in red as a beet.
Sheldon Bass 03/03/14
I love the warm, down home appeal of this piece. Granddad certainly had ahold of the right stick: God's love.

Grandma's comparison of the willow tree was good. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Keep the good stories coming!
Rachel Malcolm 03/04/14
I love this story! It is so warm and heartfelt, and it has such a sweet country appeal.

I just want to mention a little note about your first sentence. Semicolons are mostly used to separate two sentences, so your first sentence would be: "Granddad was a simple man; he was a truly humble man." Or you could just use a comma instead of the semicolon.

The truth in your last paragraph is simple and profound (just like Granddad). I feel motivated to life a life like that. I look forward to reading more of your writing!

Larry Whittington03/05/14
A very likable and well written story to illustrate a point well worth being reminded of.

You did a good job at it.
C D Swanson 03/06/14
Congratulations Robin!

I loved your story, so glad it won!

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/06/14
Congratulations on ranking 1st in your level and 25 overall. The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.
Bonnie Bowden 03/06/14

I fell in love with the MCs in this story. The story had a very homey and down to earth appeal to it.

I'm so glad it won 1st place and 25th place overall. You've been blessed with the ability to spin a good yarn.