Richard sat with his head tipped forward. His eyes were drooping and he could feel his senses slipping away. On the stage in front of him an announcer droned on.
“And, for outstanding efforts in land management, the winner is …” Richard’s eyes finally closed.
“Richard, they’ve called your name.” Someone was shaking his arm. “Richard didn’t you hear them. You won the outstanding young farmer award.”
“But,” Richard stammered. “I don’t own a farm or even live on a farm.”
“What do you mean, you’re the young farmer of the year. Come on, get up there and accept your award.”
Richard tried to stand but his feet were seemingly glued to the floor. “I can’t move; you go for me.”
“I can’t Richard you have to go yourself. There, they called your name again.”
“Uh, I didn’t hear it. Can you help me?”
“No Richard, you’ve done everything for yourself just fine in the past.”
Richard watched as the scene before him changed.
“Look at you plowing through the people in your office.”
“Uh, but.” He tried to focus his eyes. But, the scene changed and he could see a woman and a child. “Who’s this? They look familiar."
“You don’t recognize them? This is your family. But, since you don’t want them I’ll send them away.”
Richard attempted to raise his hand but his arms felt like lead. “No, I mean I can’t read their name tags.”
“Not a problem, we can get more. Come through this door.”
“Door?” He hadn’t seen a door before, but there it was, and although he didn’t walk he found himself on the other side of the door. There were people all around with hands out.
A voice beckoned him. “Would you like lunch, yes, let’s do lunch.”
“He hadn’t thought about eating, but seemed to sit at a table.”
Waiters suddenly surrounded him and plates without food stacked up before his eyes.
“Isn’t this nice? Don’t mind all the people here, they only want fed. That’s not your job. Someone else will take care of them.”
Richard looked up at a waiter but saw no face and the image disappeared. However, the scene changed and he found himself walking in the forest. He heard, “Cut them down, cut them all down.” He turned and hundreds of people began building steel buildings. He seemed to be taller than the buildings and looked down at the workers.
“See how well you have grown the crops?”
“Crops?” Richard surveyed the area.
“Beautiful job, you’ll get an award for this.”
A strange man began handing him papers, but he couldn’t focus on the words. “Just do it.” He heard himself say, and then he waved the man away.
“Oh, Richard, look at the flags.”
He could see long flags going from a building to a boat. “Are we sailing?”
“Oh, that will be fun, but we have no water.”
Richard stomped on the ground and dust flew. “Where’s the water?”
“You anti irrigated to clear the land. You’re the farmer, don’t you remember.”
“That’s right. You made up the word. You’re a genius, at least that’s what you said.”
“Genius, right, Genius.”
“Daddy, daddy, wake up, you’re snoring.” A young woman was shaking his arm.
As his eyes cleared and he regained consciousness he realized it was his daughter. “Wow, what a dream.”
“You’d better stay awake.” His wife hugged his other arm. “They’re about to name the outstanding developer of the year.”
As expected a round-faced host announced Richard’s name and he walked up to the stage to accept his award. He had prewritten an acceptance speech, but didn’t bother to reach inside his jacket pocket for the folded piece of paper.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he began. He seemed to pause to think about his next words.
“As of tonight, this very minute, I am embarking on a new construction project; well, truthfully, it is one already started. This project will incorporate the natural beauty of the landscape. Additionally, it will be worker and family friendly with walkways, canals, and parks.
And, this last part, I am going to have to learn a lot about. Our tenets, I pray, will help. We are going to tie in with the “Feed the Hungry” program. I don’t know how yet; but I think we will call it “Irrigate the Community.”
There was a standing ovation and applause.
When he reached his seat his wife said, “outstanding.”
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