Daily Archives: December 5, 2013
Spock and T’Pring on the planet Vulcan – ‘Amok Time’
This story was written by my wife, Karen Osborne. Could you please offer her encouraging comments about her writing. I think they would lift her spirits.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness.
Sometimes the truth doesn’t make sense
After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true. –Spock in ‘Amok Time’
There it was: the elegant china horse regarded me down its well-bred nose through the shop window. I pressed my ten-year-old nose against the hot glass and shaded my eyes against the glare of the July sun to see that epitome of equine perfection. Stunned and captured, I stood stock still until a sharp elbow in the ribs recalled me to our errand.
“Come on, Karen! We have to go! The ice cream is melting!” My friend’s voice squeaked with agitation.
The next day I went back to gaze upon the china horse, and the day after that, and the day after that too. I learned that the china horse cost twenty-two fifty.
Twenty-two fifty. Twenty-two fifty. Twenty-two fifty. The litany ran through my head day and night. How was I going to get that much money? I decided I would clean the five horse stalls for Mr. Faulkner. He was willing to pay five dollars a week! He thought I was puny and young, and he wasn’t sure a girl could do the work. But nobody else was offering. So he gave me a chance.
Every day I looked at the bay china horse in the window on my way to work and on my way home again. We had a thing, the two of us did, a bond kind of. I felt like he was looking for me every day, just the same as I was looking for him.
At the end of the week, Mr. Faulkner paid me five crisp one-dollar bills. I sat on my bed and gloated over them. Later, I showed them to the Bay china horse. He gloated too.
The days and weeks passed. The heat was awful. Sometimes I thought I would be sick from working in it.
One day I had twenty dollars. I had saved two dollars and fifty cents from the candy money my grandmother gave me. I put the money in my purse. Clutching it, I ran to the shop.
“What do you want?” asked the old man.
I pointed. “I want my Bay!”
“You got twenty-two fifty?” he asked.
I counted my money onto the counter in triumph. He grunted and got Bay down from the window. He wrapped Bay up in newspaper and put him in a box. He reached for my money. My heart stopped.
“No,” I said. “I’ve changed my mind.”
The old man was confused. “Whadda ya mean?”
“I changed my mind. If I buy Bay, then I have him and he’s mine. But he’s not free. If he stays in your window, then he’s free until somebody else buys him and takes him away to another life.”
“Another life? Whadda ya talking about? It’s a china horse, fer pete’s sake!”
“Not to me. I’ve decided that sometimes it’s better to keep on wanting a thing than to have it for your own.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“I know, but it’s true.” I gathered up the crisp dollars and the two quarters. “Sometimes the truth doesn’t make sense, but it is the truth anyway.”