Thursday, April 03, 2008

Jack B

Saying for the day:The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.
Frederick Buechner:

Once upon a very long time ago in a far away country called England, in the little village of North Creake ( Just a mile North of South Creake) Jack Boris Nimble was born. His parents with the permission of the estate of the Earl Spencer, which owned and still owns most of the land in the village, ran a little candle and candlestick business out of their house. When Jack was three he came out of his bedroom and found a lit candle on a candlestick blocking his way. So he did what any three year old would do he jumped over it.
His father , who was something of an artist drew a picture of the event. It showed Jack hanging in the air over the fire of the candle. His mother, who was a poet, wrote a little poem. Which I’m sure you have all heard.
When Jack was seven his family moved to America, the land of opportunity, and started the Nimble Candle Company and it’s logo was that picture of Jack jumping over the candle. I feel sure you have seen it. It was even more popular than the Little Dutch Boy emblem. All the while this was happening the little poem was catching on and being taught to children everywhere that English was spoken ( it didn’t translate well-poetry seldom does).
Except for the logo and the poem Jack lived a pretty normal uneventful life.
Though his name was Nimble he wasn’t. No indeed! He was anything but nimble. He may have been close to the clumsiest person that ever lived. He tripped over things, a lot. He bumped into things , a lot. He spilled things , a lot. He was definitely not nimble. He was always the last one picked for any school game when sides had to be chosen. Everybody knew that whoever got Jack would lose. So school was not much fun for Jack. Then there was the teasing.
“ Jump over any candlesticks lately Jack?
“ You should get together with that cow that jumped over the moon and compare notes”.
“If you had jumped a little higher. You wouldn’t have caught your pants on fire”
This last statement was often chanted by a group of kids who prefaced it with the original poem.
Poor Jack. Over and over he wished that he had never jumped over that stupid candlestick.
But kids grow up despite the teasing. Jack went away to college. His roommate on hearing his name asked if he was the guy from the poem. Even in college he couldn’t escape that stupid candlestick.
Jack was a history major and one of the required courses ( though nobody knew why) was a course on the history of childhood poems. When the instructor called his name he smiled. Then he said to the class, “ we have a celebrity with us this semester B Nimble himself is here. He can tell you first hand about the history of that poem. Jack wished he was dead. But he survived.
He graduated with a degree in history. Then he went on to get a Doctor’s degree. He did his dissertation on the history of the rise and fall of the cow moon cult in Northern Nevada. This was the group that believed a cow had jumped over the moon aided by super aliens. They were waiting for the aliens to return..
Jack married and had two children. He became a professor at Calvin Lutheran University in Two Bluffs , Idaho. But even there that stupid poem followed him. From time to time one of his students was bound to say, “ Jump over any candlesticks lately Professor?” O! How he wished he had not been so quick to jump.
Now teaching was not the whole of Jack’s life. From the time he was little he had wanted to do good deeds. His parents taught him that God expects you to help others. So he had tried. But they always seemed to go wrong. There was that little old lady he helped across the street. He caught his foot on the curb and fell pulling her with him into a huge mud puddle. He was lucky he didn’t get sued . Then there was the lady whose groceries he helped carry in to the house. He tripped over a child’s toy and dropped the bag and the milk broke and poured over everything. After that nobody wanted Jack to help them.
But still deep in his heart he felt a need to serve others. So he set up the first food pantry in Two Bluffs. This good deed couldn’t go wrong because he just paid the bills, rented the building, and let others do the stocking and the carrying. It was a massive good deed.
Thus one day he found a little man in a green suit with shoes that curled on the end in his office. The little man, of course, was an elf. The elf was there to grant him one wish. However, at this time the elf community was trying something new. There had been so many complaints about bad wishes that they were trying on an experimental basis giving out one wish and one preview. The person making the wish could tell the elf what he would wish for and the elf would let him see some of the consequences of that wish. But there was only one preview as there was only one wish.
Jack knew what he would wish for. So he told the elf that if he wished he would wish that he had never jumped over that darn candle.
Suddenly he could see himself coming out of his room. There was the lit candle and the candlestick. But instead of jumping over it he bumped into it. It fell over and caught the curtain on fire, then his nightshirt. Jack ran screaming into the street. The house burned and the entire town of North Creake with it. Jack’s parents perished in the blaze. Jack was burned badly but survived but his face was disfigured. He was horrible to look at. Out of the incident came a new poem.
Jack wasn’t nimble
Jack wasn’t quick
Jack didn’t jump over the candlestick.
He burned his gown
He burned the town
Nobody wants Jack around.
Suddenly Jack saw that jumping over the candlestick was a good thing , not a bad one. He would not wish to change it. But he still had the wish and no more previews. So he told the elf he woud have to think about it. The elf gave him the usual whistle and a certificate good for one wish. Jack bought a small wooden box and locked the certificate and the whistle in it. He hung the key on a chain around his neck and hid the box.
When people ask about the key he tells them it is to remind them that sometimes the life they have is much better than they think.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Tommy UK asked Esther Kivi of Kivi&Maki who besides her and Mr. Maki had access to that storeroom where the mannequin was stored. She told him it wasn’t locked so anybody could have gone back there. But Jack’s nephew helps move the heavy boxes and he goes in and out twice a week.
Tommy UK knew that Jack’s nephew ran the Sauna for Jack during the snowmobile weekend. Could Jack’s nephew be the one that set up the fake murder ? He had the opportunity. He worked in both places. But why would he do it. What motive could he possibly have ? Unless somebody paid him to do it. Brian has always been a quiet person. He never got into trouble. Jack paid him to run the Sauna. Why would he do something like this to Jack?
Late yesterday Tommy UK saw Brian and invited him to have a cup of coffee at Nancy’s. He told him he wanted to go over the facts concerning the event. When did he leave and how long was he gone. They had coffee and Brian answered all of Tommy UK’s questions . When they finished Tommy UK was beginning to think that this time he was wrong. Brian didn’t do it.
But as soon as Brian left Tommy UK asked Nancy if he could take the cup that Brian had used. He would bring it back later he just wanted to get a fingerprint off of it.
Is Brian guilty? Why would he do it? If he did will uncle Jack be mad? Will Tommy UK get a clear print off the cup? And of course is Tommy UK really the yndertaker’s kid? Don’t you just love a good question?

Today's Link-Shadow of Diogene- A back and forth post-cute
A hard breathing day. I visited all my links. Betty and I continued to sort track. I listed three more items on eBay. It was just one of those days. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Janvangogh said...

Sneaky Tommy -- getting Brian's fingerprints off the coffee cup. People ought to start wearing gloves when they know they might run in to Tommy UK.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

This is what I teach my students:

If you hit someone, you have told them that violence is acceptable. Don’t be surprised when they strike you back.

If you insult someone, you have told them that disrespect is acceptable. Don’t be surprised when you get called names.

When you steal from someone, you have given them permission to steal, too. Don’t be surprised when they steal from you.

When you threaten someone, you have told them that bullying is acceptable. Don’t be surprised when they try extortion on you.

When you ignore someone, you have shown them that they are beneath your notice or concern. Don’t be surprised when the pay no attention to you.

When you smile at someone, you have shown them you value them. Don’t be surprised when they smile, too.

When you praise someone, you have told them you appreciate them. Don’t be surprised when they share their appreciation for you.

When you share with someone, you have shown them the value of selflessness. Don’t be surprised when they share as well.

When you defend someone, you have shown them the value of corporate caring. Don’t be surprised when they stand to defend others.

When you give someone your time, you have shown them that they are valued and important. Don’t be surprised if they value and honor you.

Oh, and one more thing — just because someone hits you, insults you, ignores you or steals from you, doesn’t mean you have to respond the same way. Instead offer them kindness, and see if you can’t teach them the better way.

Be a leader for peace.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

What a great story. Jack learned a great lessons. I remember someone telling me once that if a group of us all threw our problems into a big pile in the middle of the room, and we could run and pick up any problems we wished, we would probably pick up our own, rather than someone else's. Jack learned the same lesson, didn't he?

I love the elf stories!

5:44 PM  
Blogger The Old Fart said...

I've learned something new about Jack B Nimble, I never realized his middle name was Boris. Now I know, Thank you Dr John.

Another good story, thank you for sharing.

7:42 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I'd heard that most of Mother Goose had such explanations, but I hadn't heard this before.

I’m dropping by my favorite blogs to explain that I’ve made some progress on the video project from my Thailand trip. My current post explains why I haven’t been seen much in the cyberhood the past few weeks. If you’re looking for some alternative entertainment, I’ve posted some clips and the Youtube link to more of them. Thank you for expressing interest back in January before this project was understandably put on hold as we attended to family matters.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Casdok said...

I love your quote today.

11:32 PM  

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