A Modern Parable

Bite sized stories didn’t grow on trees, but this one was nuts.  A little boy went to school wearing his sister’s dress.  He kept a determined but thoughtful look on his face as he entered the school.

There were some giggles around the room when he entered.  His teacher stopped what she was doing.  ”Why are you wearing a dress?”

The little boy just shrugged his shoulders and didn’t say anything.  The teacher stared at him for a moment to see if he would say more, but he stood there silently so she decided to let it go.

At lunch time it was raining, so everyone stayed inside.  The little boy’s friends started laughing out loud when he sat at their cafeteria table.  “What?” he asked.

“Come on, why the dress?” asked Shelia.

“He wants to be closer to his mommy,” said Steve as he picked at his nose.

“Nah, his mamma is so stupid she put the wrong clothes on him after taking a hit of meth,” said Zoltan.

“Come on man,” repeated Shelia.  “Why the dress?”

Still the little boy said nothing and just ate his lunch.  He suffered many more insults, but through it all he was quiet, just occasionally shrugging his shoulders.

After school, before he walked off school grounds, the local bully pushed him from behind.  “What’s up with your clothes?” he guffawed.  The little boy tried to rush away, but the bully pushed the little boy in the back again, causing him to almost fall down.  “I think you forgot your bra.”

The little boy turned and stared the bully right in the face.  Then he shrugged his shoulders and turned to leave.

The bully struck him to the side of his head, throwing the little boy down into a large mud puddle.  “Awe, looks like the little girl is all dirty.”

The little boy sat up in the mud puddle and shrugged his shoulders.  The bully flipped him the bird and spit at him before finally leaving him alone.

The little boy picked himself out of the mud puddle and waddled his way home, his shoes squishing drown water with every step.  His ear bled for a while from where his earlobe had split from the bully’s hit.  Many people stared at him as he continued his walk, but they were silent, not knowing how to approach such a different sight.  In a way he was happy about it, but in a way it hurt him that no one stopped him to find out what was wrong.  He eventually shrugged his mental shoulders and moved on.

The little boy finally got home.  His sister was there with her arms crossed and her frown turning angrier when she saw what state her dress was in.  Before she could say anything the little boy broke into sobbing tears and ran up to her, smothering her with a fierce hug.

His sister was confused, but eventually returned the hug back.  She was quiet as he exhausted his anguish on her.  Finally when he started to calm down she held him out at arm’s length.  She looked him in the eyes and asked him one word, “Why?”

The boy shrugged then shook his head no.  “You told me last night that to know what someone goes through you need to walk a mile in their shoes.  I decided I would kick it up a notch.”

His sister was about to say something when he cut her off.  “And man, you must be tough if crap like that happens to you every day.”

She opened her mouth to say one thing, then changed her mind with a shake of the head.  She instead smiled and wiped away a bit of the caked dirt from her dress.  “Yep, it can be tough.”

The little boy nodded and walked with his sister into the house, his shoulders held high.


Image: s-i.huffpost.com/gen/1172816/images/h-KINGSLEY-FLOOD-VIDEO-628×314.jpg

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