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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Our Mutual Friend (not about the book) (09/15/11)

TITLE: And Where Were You When It Rained?
By Wilma Schlegel


An unexpected shiver ran down Samuel’s back. He pulled his cloak close against himself only to let it go again. He wouldn’t get another day out of this one. “Ahh, I’m wet, I’m tired and there is mud caked all over my clothes. We could have done without that downpour, what do you say? Hey, but it’s good to get the denarius, isn’t it friend?” Despite his chill, Samuel was in good spirits.

“Listen, Bud,” Jude growled. “Who do you think you’re calling friend? I have stooped, reached, picked, hauled and carried all day. All day, I said. I’m no slacker.” Jude’s voice grew louder and he came chest to chest with Samuel pointing a finger in his face. “There’s enough mud caked on me to build a small hut. Don’t pretend like you’re my equal.”

“You are angry with me?” Samuel hadn’t expected Jude’s attitude. “But why, I did nothing.”

“You got that right. You did nothing, compared to what I did,” Jude pulled his shoulders back and looked down his nose at Samuel. “Yet you,” he spit out his phlegm to emphasize his disdain; it hit the ground audibly. “You were paid as much as I!” Jude strode away quickly. He knew if he stayed much longer he’d punch this moocher.

“And what would you have me do? I did not demand an amount, I am grateful and relieved to be paid.” Samuel shuffled quickly to catch up to Jude.

Jude turned and sneered at Samuel. “Just get away from me. I’ve worked long and hard. I’m tired.”

Samuel had had enough. He moved in front of Jude and placed his foot right in front of Jude’s to stop him. “Oh, you think you are better, more deserving than me? How would you like to stand in the empty lot all day - waiting? Nothing to do, just thinking about a hungry wife and kids.”

“Hungry wife? Are you kidding me?” Jude grabbed hold of Samuel’s dank, threadbare cloak. “My hungry wife scrubs my clothes helping me to look like a hard-working, clean and decent man. That’s why I get picked while others get passed over.” Jude followed his pointed remark with a forceful shove at Samuel.

Samuel regained his footing and warned Jude, “Don’t talk about my wife, she has been sick - I do what I can.”

Jude felt a twinge of pity. “Oh, yeah, well - you can be glad you didn’t have to reach and bend all day, smelling grapes and not being able to taste them!”

Samuel’s shoulders slumped. “No dude, I got to wait, look at nothing, taste and smell dust and be passed over, ten times. There was no hope left in me.”

Jude was not ready to let go of his jealousy and anger.

Samuel was not done painting his picture.

“And where were you when it rained?” they asked at the same time.

“Standing in it, getting soaked!” they answered each other.

Jude and Samuel stood looking at each other. Neither said anything.

Samuel admired the worker that Jude was.

Jude looked at Samuel’s tired eyes. The man’s day had been long and probably more stressful than his own. He, Jude, had worked longer, but there had been peace and satisfaction for him. Samuel hadn’t had that.

“You know - that landowner,” Jude said, “Maybe he did ok by both of us.”

“Maybe we can both call him ‘friend’.” Samuel offered.

“Yes,” Jude said. “And you,” he asked placing his hand on Samuel’s shoulder, “I will see you in the morning?”

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This article has been read 405 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lois Farrow09/22/11
Nicely done to trace their turnaround in attitude.
Virgil Youngblood 09/24/11
A beautiful retelling of a familiar Bible story. Well done.
Helen Curtis09/25/11
I love the strong writing used here; the characters are developed so well in such a small amount of words, and the descriptions are full of real life - exactly how they would each be feeling is conveyed so clearly.

Isn't it interesting how, when we're cranky with another, or envious of their lot in life, just by talking with them we can see that, maybe we don't have it as bad as we thought, and maybe they are not as well off either.

I truly loved the tension and resolution in this entry. Well done.
Linda Goergen09/25/11
Oh, this was so well written! It is so easy to be jealous, but how often it is different when we take the time to see things from the other’s perspective! You took the bible story and gave it a realistic perspective from both sides and was such a good reminder and message to us all! Just an excellent job on this! Blessings!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/27/11
I enjoyed this modern take on the familiar parable. You did a nice job bringing it to life.
Mildred Sheldon09/27/11
A beautiful retelling of the old Bible story. You truly brought the characters to life.
Jeanette Oestermyer10/22/11
Sure a quick change of atitude and hearts also. I feel they may still be friends.