Category Archives: Anger

Building Bridges

Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart.

It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days work” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”

“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber over by the barn? I want you to build me a fence –an 8-foot fence — so I won’t need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”

The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence at
all. It was a bridge — a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all — and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”

The two brothers met at the middle of the bridge, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have so many more bridges to build.”

Cookies At The Airport

A woman was waiting at an airport one night
There were several long hours to wait for her flight.
She hunted for reading in the airport’s gift shop
bought a big bag of cookies — found a place she could drop.

She was engrossed in her book, but she happened to see
a man sat beside her — as bold as can be
and grabbed up a cookie from the bag in between
which she tried to ignore — and not make a scene.

She munched at her cookies and glanced at the clock
as the masculine cookie-thief diminished her stock!
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by
Thinking, “If I wasn’t a lady, I’d blacken his eye!”

With each cookie she took, he took one or two.
With only one left, she watched what he’d do
With a grin on his face, and a nice nervous laugh
He took the last cookie and broke it in half!

He offered her half as he munched on the other
She snatched from him and murmured “Oh Brother!
This guy has some nerve, and he’s also quite rude
He never showed even polite gratitude.”

She had never known when she had been quite so galled
She smiled with relief when her flight — it was called.
She gathered her stuff and marched to the gate.
(With not even a glance at the thieving ingrate.)

She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought out her book which was almost complete.
As she reached in her bag, she gasped with surprise,
Her bag of cookies were in front of her eyes!

“If mine are right here,” she moaned in despair,
then the others were his and he was trying to share!
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!

Author Valerie Cox – From the book: A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul