Weekend Story-The Wooden Bridge
February 27, 2022
A feud once erupted between two brothers who lived on adjoining farms. This was the first serious rift between the brothers after 20 years of farming side-by-side.
The long collaboration between the brothers ended. What started as a small misunderstanding quickly escalated into a major fight exploding into a war of words and weeks of uneasy silence.
Then one morning, there was a knock on the elder brother’s door. He found a man holding a carpenter’s toolbox when he opened the door. “I ‘m looking for some work,” the stranger said at the door said, ” Would you have some jobs on the farm that I could help you with?”
“Yes,” replied the older brother. “I certainly have a job for you. Can you see the farm on the other side of the creek? That farm belongs to my younger brother. Till about a couple of weeks back, there was a meadow between the two farms, and one could walk across. However, my brother recently took his bulldozer to the river levee upstream and did something, and now there is this river creek between the two farms. Undoubtedly, he diverted the river to create this rift between our two farms. I am not going to keep quiet. I’ll do him one better. Can you see that pile of wooden logs by the barn? I want you to build an 8-foot high fence by the creek so that I won’t need to see his damned place or face anymore.
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me where exactly where you need me to erect the fence, and I’ll do a job that will please you. “
The older brother showed the carpenter exactly where he had to erect the fence, and then he went off to the town to attend to some chores.
The carpenter went to work immediately and toiled through the day – measuring, sawing, and nailing. When the farmer returned from the town in the evening, the carpenter had just about finished his job.
The farmer’s jaw dropped when he walked across to see what the carpenter had done. There was no fence to be seen. Instead, what he saw was a small bridge- a wooden walkway that stretched from his side of the creek to the other!! It was indeed a fine piece of work, handrails and all!
As the farmer gazed, admiring the beautiful bridge the carpenter had built, he noticed his younger brother rushing across the farm towards the bridge, his arms outstretched and face beaming.
“You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after everything I’ve said and done. I am so sorry, brother !!” The younger brother rushed across the bridge and hugged his elder brother.
The two brothers turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. The elder brother said to the carpenter- “Thank you so much for this beautiful creation. Can you please stay on for a few days? There is more work I would like you to do for us.”
Smiling at the two brothers, the carpenter said- “I’d love to stay on, but I have many more bridges to build.”
Post Script: I was reminded of this story as the standoff between Ukraine and Russia continues.