I wrote his story in 2005. This morning awoke and knew I was not up to the task of writing. I read something and thought, what would I share. I clicked on something and it brought me to this.
Ironically it had to do with what I read earlier. It is hard when someone hurts you. Harder when you allow yourself to hurt you or others.
I had devoted hours to my garden. And as the sprouts broke the ground, I was excited. But one morning i went out and there was something missing. Much of the new growth had been eaten. (Nibbled would have been an understatement!) A neighbor said he had seen the woodchuck munching away at my “kingdom.”
The next day I saw the woodchuck scurrying across the yard to a pile of topsoil my parents had arranged for. This pile of dirt was about 40 feet long, 20 feet deep and perhaps 10 feet high. Determined to kill this predator, I raced into the garage for a can of gas. Swinging 5 gallons of gas, a length of hose, some oil soaked rope and a book of matches I headed to the place “Woody” was last seen. Pouring the can of gas down the hose I readied the rope. Putting it down the hole as far as I could reach, I pulled out the matches.
I lit the match and tossed it towards the rope. I had barely turned when heat blew over me. At 6 years old I knew very little about gasoline, vapors and closed areas. The wick never had a chance to ignite as the flames poured out of the hole. I would like to tell you that “Woody” blew out of the hole, but that wasn’t the case. What happened was the earth exploded and dirt filled the air. Laying on the ground, I tried to figure out what had happened. All the gasoline I ever saw burned before that day, never did it blow up.
Hours later my father would come home, look out the window and think we had a done a lot of yard work, but as soon as he looked closer (And perhaps a few pieces of dirt tumbled from the sky.), he realized that no work had been done.
In my youthful exuberance to pulverize the thief, I had made many errors of judgement. The largest being, that just because I think I know something doesn’t mean it’s true. And what I can not see can in fact, hurt me. Lurking behind my motives to even the score, the blindness of the moment appeared.
What in my life am I pursuing with vengeance in my heart? Am I trying to even a score or make up for some lack, while missing the danger signs? Could it be in the midst of anger, I am going to a place of overkill?
Years later I saw a young boy who had played with gasoline. The skin grafts cause his chin to be “part” of his chest. His name was Dale. I never forgot that.
My overreaction to a situation could possibly have ended in serious damage or even death. Am I playing with “fire?” Perhaps this is the day where I will take a little more time, educate myself a little more and wait. (BTW-Woody was back that evening.)
Updated 4/6/2015 I wrote this in 2005 and thought little about it. It is one of those “funny” stories. But vengeance is and never will be funny. Only yesterday I read of the stoning of a unmarried couple in Iraq for premarital sex. The anger, the uproar, the vengeance.
Will you let anger or offense cause you to seek revenge?