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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: My Three Culpable Companions
By Colin Swann


I had three dodgy mates before I became a Christian and they were an influence on my life. Maybe they and others made me realise I needed a Saviour to deal with my own culpability.

It pleased me when I was enlightened to the fact that Jesus was the Physician who healed the sick and sinful. That he loved to move among sinners and had shared his life with them.

I had to keep my three friends separate, as they didn’t care much for each other. Sharing my leisure time among them was a necessity as I mostly enjoyed all the trio’s company – but it had to be individually!

Maggie was my female companion. I think that I was infatuated with her. She was always smart, mostly in black with a splash of white here and there. Unfortunately, her family had a reputation of being shifty and light fingered – including Maggie. She certainly looked like a smart gangster’s moll.

She had a fetish for bathing in the pool of our secluded garden. She would splash madly as if she had just discovered water. Mum caught me sneaking a peak at her bathing in private.

I got to know one of her secrets - about where their clan’s hoard of stolen goods was hidden. I kept my distance from it in case of a family assault.

Rob was good for me. He was cheeky looking and made me feel good. I was often used by him. He had no family and lived alone, so I made allowances for all his manipulations.

When he broke his leg he came to stay in my room with me. He soon won mum over and she was mothering him like a broody hen. I think he purposely spun out his healing because of all the attention.

Rob had the same fetish as me – it was nuts! We absolutely relished peanuts. Rob and I could get through a full pack in no time at all – minutes! He was, however, a user and I think he always will be, but he was a good friend.

Jack was the moody, bad tempered one. There were times when I thought I didn’t even like him. Sometimes he would go off and have nothing to do with me. Then another time he came over all fussy and I would be forgiving toward him.

Jack would talk when it suited him but mostly he would remain uncommunicative. Mum suggested I get shot of him. She said every time she looked at his morose countenance he gave her the heeby jeebies.

The few times Maggie found herself in Jack’s presence he would have a little flirt with her. Then they would revert to their normal hatred of each other.

A year after my conversion my avian friends are still around.

Maggie the magpie is still fascinating me and her family’s shiny stash of magpie goodies has grown – I think!

Rob the robin has still got his own enclosure because of his territorial inclination. He’s still mum’s favourite. She now shares nuts with him!

Jack the jackdaw is still around too. He always reminds me I have to show mercy to the unlovely.

Having these culpable companions has been a mirror image of some of my human friends (all sinners like me). Our only hope of change is coming to Jesus.

It is wonderful that the Rescuer can clean away all the baggage that we pick up on our life’s journey, and give us a future and a hope.

Now I intend to stick around Jesus and trust that his flawless character will rub off on me.

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This article has been read 872 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 02/07/08
Clever and cute - I definitely didn't pick up on the ending until I got there.
Dee Yoder 02/07/08
Ha-you got me! Very clever and the ending packs a particularly powerful punch.
Gregory Kane02/11/08
This is very clever. Your opening paragraphs are a little weak – too many long words that suggest the story is likely to be turgid – prompting the reader to move on. This would be a real pity because your style then changes markedly and the rest of the piece is intriguing and delicious.