(c) 2017 Haylee V
One day, in the tiny hamlet of Pine Grove, lived an eccentric junk collector named Thomas. being a junk collector, he was quite poor, and survived by living off the discarded trinkets and baubles of the more well-to-do.
"Why do you collect such junk?" the townsfolk would often ask. "It's completely worthless to anybody. You should find a real job, like helping the farmer or the miller. At least then, you'd be assured of your next meal."
"I do alright," Thomas would always say dismissively. "I have enough to eat, and a little in the bank for rough times."
One day, Thomas was out walking with a friend. As they passed the stables, Thomas noticed a discarded tack, containing a nice length of rope.
I could use that rope, thought Thomas, happily.
So he excused himself for a moment to talk with the livery owner for a moment.
"Sure, you can have the tack. It's useless to me anyway. Take any of it you need."
Thomas thanked the livery owner and gathered the rope, coiling it around his shoulder. "You never know...," he said.
His friend just shook his head, and they continued walking.
Soon, they came to the potter. He was just taking some pottery out of his kiln as they walked up.
"This will never do!" the potter cried, reaching for a malformed bowl, to smash it. "It is too deep to use as a bowl, yet not deep enough to be a cistern for holding water. I have no use for it!"
"Wait!" Thomas cried. "If you're just going to destroy it, may I have it instead?"
"Sure!" the potter said, happy that no one else would see his failure.
Again, his friend just shook his head, sadly, as Thomas added another "worthless" item to his pack.
As they continued on, they ran into the baker, carrying a sack of what appeared to be scorched loaves.
"May I have one?" Thomas asked.
"Aye, laddie, you may, if you wish. But they nae be fit for eatin'."
"It's OK," he said, adding it to his pack.
By this time, the sun had begun to set, and it was time to return to the hovel. As they left the hamlet, Thomas happened to find a rusty fishhook along the path. He gently bent down, and added it to his growing pile of "junk". To it's side, he also noticed a small broom handle, the straws of which long since used up. Fortunately, the binding strings holding the straws were still somewhat attached. This, as well was added to Thomas's pack.
Soon, the pair reached the fjord, but were shocked to find that the cords holding the bridge together had become frayed, and the bridge now lay broken.
Reaching into his pack, Thomas quickly withdrew the rope, and quickly patched the bridge.
They safely crossed the fjord, but Thomas's friend didn't appear too well.
"What is wrong, my friend?" he asked.
"I'm afraid I have missed lunch. I'm an hungered, and I thirst."
"No worries," said Thomas jovially. "Sit under yon tree, and I'll get a fire going. Soon, you'll be sated."
Thomas then pulled the crockery out of his pack. Going to the edge of the fjord, he quickly filled it to the brim with cool, fresh water. Handing it to his parched friend, Thomas commanded him to drink.
Thomas then took the discarded broom handle, and tied the fishhook to one of the wayward strands still attached. Tearing off a piece of the loaf, he baited the makeshift pole and cast it deep into the middle of the stream. In no time, he had a nibble, and pulled forth a rather large trout. Repeating the process, he soon had enough fish for a wonderful meal.
His friend was overcome with gratitude. "To think, that the things I saw as useless would provide our salvation."
Which just goes to prove:
One man's trash is another man's treasure.
Too often, we discard things before they have exceeded their usefulness. Often, this includes us discarding people we think are useless as well. Everyone has a purpose. No one should ever be judged as useless. We should all strive to strengthen our brothers and sisters, so that their inner talents can shine brightly.
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