Week 44

A Fly landed at the edge of a puddle to drink and wash his face and hands.  He could feel the cold coming off the water, and when he touched it, it did not give way.  It moved beneath his touch and rippled but he could not press through the surface.  The Fly thought this was strange, so he tried again to touch the water, pushing harder.  Again the water recoiled and shimmered, not giving way, but this time he heard a protest as faint as the spring breeze.  "Please don't do that, it hurts me."

Confused, the Fly looked deep into the puddle to see who has spoken.  There were no others, only his reflection.  "Who are you?" asked the Fly. "I'm a Snowman" was the response.  The Fly looked all around.  He had never heard of a Snowman before.  He strained and strained to see this new creature, but all he found was the water.  "Where are you?" asked the Fly.  "I'm right here in front of you, you keep pushing on me trying to take some of me away."

Shocked and shamed that he had caused harm he tried again to locate the Snowman.  "Are you in the puddle? Do you live in the water?" asked the Fly.  "I am the water" said the Snowman.  The Fly tilted his head to the side, "I don't understand. If you are water, then you are not a Snowman."  The puddle shimmered and waved.  "I am a Snowman, the Sun has changed me."  The Fly thought he understood, having gone through many changes himself.  "Were you always a Snowman before the Sun changed you?" asked the Fly.  "I have had many changes in my life.  I started as an egg, then became a larva, and when I was old enough I became a Fly.  The sun gave me warmth, the world gave me food an water and time gave me growth."

The Fly was very proud that he understood.  The Snowman was less impressed. "You are only a Fly, a small thing.  I was the Ocean. The Sun warmed me and I flew up to him.  I found others like me and became a Cloud.  When the Sun turned away we got cold and became Snow.  We floated back to the Earth and became her blanket.  Then the children came along and bound us together into a Snowman.  I am a grand thing, you are not."

The Fly was hurt by this Snowman's words.  "Perhaps I am small, but I help the world.  Through out my life I clean the world.  I consume that which cannot be consumed and return it to the Earth. When I fly, my wings clean the air and my fur helps pollinate the grass, flowers and trees when I move among them. I have value, just as you do."

"Hardly," rippled the Snowman, "you do not bring joy.  You do not provide a home. When I was the Ocean, I was a home for the creatures.  When I was a Cloud I would change my shape and the people would admire me and guess what I was.  When I was Snow, I was pristine and beautiful.  And when I was a Snowman, they laughed and played with me.  They gave me a name and I was valued.  You are just a Fly.  You are ugly and you annoy people.  You do not bring them joy."

The Fly was silent a moment.  The Snowman, having established his importance spread out in the sunlight, pleased with himself.  When the fly spoke again, his voice was quiet and strong. "I am a Fly, and I have value regardless if you see it or not.  I may not have beauty, but I also do not have cruelty.  I help others and do my work without malice or vanity.  I do not speak to others to make them feel as though they are less than what they are, that they have no value.  And when you told me you were hurt, I tried to understand you so that it would not happen again.  Perhaps you were all of those things once.  Ocean, Cloud, Snowman.  Perhaps you did bring joy to others.  But now you are a puddle, one that is without joy or kindness.  You are a jaded puddle who judges others worth by their similarity to you and not for their own abilities.  You are a dark puddle and one I do not wish to be near." 

The Fly took to the sky and did not look back.  The Snowman stared after him, furious that such a lowly creature would speak to him that way.  He turned his face back to the Sun, waiting for the warm rays to bring him back up to the sky and begin again the cycle.  But something was wrong.  He felt heavy.  Slowly he realized he was sinking into the dirt beneath the grass.  He called out, but there was no one to hear.  Bit by bit he was absorbed into the ground with no one there to be joyed by his existence. The Snowman realized too late the value of the companionship and compassion offered by the Fly. 

The Fly flew around the meadow.  He landed beside a puddle clear and cold, far away from the other one.  The Suns rays dancing on it's surface, sparkling and bright.  The fly looked deep into the water. "Are you a Snowman?" asked the Fly.

Lisa Freitag