As JT walked along the coast he came up on a fishing village. It looked as if there had been quite a storm recently. Most of the fishing shacks had damaged roofs on them. There were quite a few men and boys working diligently to fix them. All of them were under repair except for one.
In front of that one there were three men sitting playing dice with money in the middle between them. They seemed totally unconcerned about the damage around them.
JT asked the men gambling, “Why aren’t you fixing your house like everyone else?”
“Work is for dopes! We got plenty of time to fix the roof. So bug off kid and don’t bother us” He sneered at JT and went back to his game.
A man on the roof of a nearby shack shook his head and continued working. JT walked over to one of the houses under repair and stopped to watch them for a while and asked if they needed help, one man grinned from the roof and replied, “sure, I could use all the help I can get. There is a storm on the way tomorrow and we have to get this done or everything we have worked for all season will be ruined.”
JT got to work, handing things to the man on the roof. “What kind of things are you trying to save?”
“Everyone around here has a garden, and we just brought in our harvest. There’s no telling what would be fit to eat if seawater got on them.” He hammered a while, then continued; “when the storm comes in off the ocean it brings seawater with it and dumps it right on our houses.” JT nodded at the explanation.
They continued right on working, and when they finished with one, they went to help someone else. If someone was trying to fix their house, then they would help each other. It continued right down the line and even got faster as more completed their repairs.
JT stole looks at the men throwing dice. They looked as if they didn’t have a care in the world. They just looked at the workers and shook their heads. It seemed they didn’t understand why anyone would work on such a fine and sunny day. Their neighbors just ignored them.
Finally all the work was completed. They were tired but satisfied at a good day’s work. “For all your good work today, please eat supper with my family and spend the night. We’ll be snug and dry against the storm.” The man grinned and clapped JT on the back.
The men with the dice didn’t stop under the first raindrops started. By then, it was too late for them to do anything, but they decided it was time to fix the roof now. The wind came up and made it so the ladder would not stand against the house anymore. And the wind and the rain made short work of anything unprotected. The squall rose up and the sea water poured into the unprotected house.
The next morning, everyone went outside to assess the damage. The men who had nice sturdy roofs were beaming. Everything they owned was nice and dry. Their hard work had saved their crop as well as left plenty to sell.
The three men who had been throwing dice sat outside their house and passed a jug back and forth. JT overheard one say to the other, “We might have enough to last the winter. Not enough to sell though.” The other cackled, “Sun’s out now, so what does it matter.” They lay out in the sun and tried to dry off.
To read the introduction to this series please click HERE