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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)

TITLE: Gino’s Gutter Gaffe (A Parable)
By Glenn A. Hascall


One upon a time in a land far, far away in the province of Malcontent, there was a kingdom called Potential Mayhem. Living in a nearby vineyard was a young man named Gino who seemed very submissive, willing to help in anyway possible.

“You need help, I’m your guy,” he often said to the King’s men as they came by to deliver the king's commands.

One morning, Ian, the royal 'Bearer of Bad News' approached Gino and said, “The King commands you to clean the royal gutters.”

“I’ll get right on it,” Gino said with a smile as he ran to his barn to retrieve a ladder. “Anything for the King.”

Once the royal horse thundered out of his yard, the ladder was replaced and Gino sat down for a delightful bowl of fresh frozen peas with a hint of oregano.

Guiseppi, his father came to him later in the day as said, “Gino, I need you to feed the cattle.”

“Yes, Father,” Gino rose from his chair with a smile.

His father was barely out of sight when Gino sat back down to contemplate conjugated verbs and other unexplained literary phenomena. “Let’s see is this verb indicative, subjunctive or imperative? Ah, I give up!”

“Gino!” came the call of his mother, Josephine.

“Yes, Mama,” Gino replied as he ran toward the house.

“I need you to go to town and trade some of our grapes for a few eggs,” Josephine said as she rubbed a stray pea from the face of her son.

“Mama,” Gino replied in embarrassment.

“So you will do this thing for me?” Josephine asked.

“Of course,” Gino said with a hurt look in his eyes.

“It is settled then,” Josephine said as she wiped her hands on his apron and walked back in the house. “It is your sister, Corinna’s birthday and I need the eggs for the cake. Hurry now!”

“All right, Mama,” Gino chuckled as he walked out the gate of the Hascalletti Villa. It wasn’t long before he got sidetracked and forgot all about the eggs as his friends invited him to join them in a high stakes game of “Rock - Paper - Scissors.

“Lucky sevens,” he said as he pitched the dice. The numbers didn’t seem to favor Gino and he left with no grapes to trade.

He was headed home when he heard the sound of rain. He raced homeward as quickly as possible, changing clothes and asking his mother for something warm to drink.

“Where are the eggs?” Mama asked him.

“Uh, the rain, I couldn’t get to town,” Gino lied.

“What am I gonna tell Corinna?” Mama clucked her tongue and waved her hands in broad sweeping gestures of frustration.

“Gino!” his father called, “Didn’t you feed the cattle?”"

“Well…” Gino began.

“They were so hungry they broke through the gate and trampled Mallorini’s garden,” Papa replied with mounting frustration.

Suddenly horses thundered into the outer courtyard. “We call forth Gino Hascalletti,” a voice rang.

Gino’s face went pale as he walked out the front door of the villa, “We’re you not commanded to clean the King‘s gutter?”

Gino simply hung his head.

“With today’s rain, the king now stands in water in the royal palace,” the man’s jaws clinched in a tight dance of anger.

“I am sorry,” Gino said dropping his arms to his side.

There was no cake, a broken gate and a flooded palace - promises made and broken.

Gino learned a hard lesson - and a very public one. The town crier was heard every hour, “It’s three o’clock and all is well except for the recent incident when Gino Hascalletti refused to obey the King’s command and left the king to look for a shop-vac - not to mention a nasty garden trampling by famished bovines and an eggless cake. More public humiliation in an hour!”

In the end, we stand like Gino as disobedient servants who have let others down. We have also let ourselves down - we have let our King down. The good news is God will not stand and proclaim our disobedience to all who would listen but He will continue calling us to obey.

When He calls, how will be your heart respond?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 02/07/05
Ah Gino - Glenn, it does my heart good to see you eating peas!

Oh, loed the story by the wy - too funny - loved all the personal references to the boards!
Melanie Kerr 02/07/05
Very simple and effective story with pleny of humour to keep me interested. I don't like to think of myself as one of those "not doing" the things I siad I would do - but, guilty as charged. The ending reminded me of the grace of God.
Joanne Malley02/07/05
Did you enjoy the peas from Mallorini's garden? Glad to see you're eating those veggies! Thanks for the morning laugh! :)
Jeremy McNabb02/07/05
Really great story, reminiscent of Terry Pratchett. Good job!
Debbie OConnor02/07/05
Oh so much fun! You...you...! And it was great, even being so silly! Grinning from ear to ear. Hope you make it in the book.
darlene hight02/08/05
Hmmm....This anonymous entry thing is really bogging me down. Does anyone know who might have written this witty yet blatantly disobedient tale of woe?
Gino Hascalette? The name sounds really familar.
Marcell Billinghurst02/08/05
A great parable with well written humor to describe the consequences received by this disobedient son and servant. I loved it. Keep writing.
Linda Germain 02/10/05
Of course this adorable story seems thinly veiled (wouldn't it be funny if it is NOT Glenn?) The thing that threw me out of the chair in helpless laughter was "the DANCE OF ANGER". Seems like I have seen some of those...had some too. :0) Well done,oh semi-masked one! ~L~
Deborah Porter 02/16/05
No one shall know your true identity (yeah right!) Glenn, I loved this. It was fun, but had a very good message too. Congratulations on your 6th Place win in the Editors' Choice, and 2nd Place in the Level 3 Champion Challenge. Well done. Love, Deb
Karen Jimmy02/17/05
man i loved this story! im cracking up. good job!
Barbara Thompson Young02/20/05
Excellent writing. I enjoyed it, immensely. If you meant it to be humorous, as others have seen it, I missed that part, but it was a great read. Congratulations!