As he ran for his life the past unfolded like an old dusty carpet on the courtyard of his mind.
Morris Black was better than most at almost everything. That is, only when he actually tried to do something. This was one black spot in Mr. Black’s otherwise white personality – he was an incorrigible laggard.
When he realized his parents wanted him to take on farming, like his previous fourteen ancestors, he felt sick from head to toe. He simply couldn’t stand the thought of staying on the field all day long, under the sweltering sun, denying himself the chance to revel in his rambling reveries. Thus, one day he ran off in search of a job that would offer ample rest.
Within two days of his arrival in the neighboring village, he knew he had done the wrong thing. Survival, on one’s own, was surely tougher than he had anticipated. Time and again his mother’s voice haunted him.
“Don’t be that lazy son. Do something!”
“But mother I want to lie down and sleep. Is anything wrong with that?”
“Everything is wrong with that. This life, that God has given us, is an opportunity to do what one wants to, in a constructive manner. And opportunities are like shooting stars son; every one doesn’t get the chance to witness it. If you are lucky enough to see a shooting star then you better make use of it! It’s because man was clever enough to hold on to such shooting stars that the world hasn’t yet been a bog. So work my darling.”
“Isn’t there any magic wand with which I can become a better farmer than father?”
“There is, it’s called hard work son.”
“Shut up and go join your father in the field.”
Hunger, they say, is the mother of direction. In Morris’s case, what began as an urgent reaction to hunger soon became his vocation. He started stealing food from different houses in the early hours of the day. This was the best survival tactic according to him as he not only could sustain his life but also keep his eighteen hours of daily sleep intact.
As time stripped the days, one by one, from its overwhelming figure, Morris mistook the calmness of his life as an omen for a happy life ahead ignorant about the fact that the butterfly of happiness sits on those who smell of sweat. But by the time reality rehearsed him about it, he found himself doggedly chased by a mad crowd.
And as he turned back the past became as insignificant as an old wrinkled face. The present took over…
His legs could take no more. Acting intelligently Morris ran up to an apple tree in the distance and before the crowd could notice, he hid himself behind it. The crowd kept running and soon they passed by the apple tree. Morris let out a sigh of relief. Suddenly something hit his head. He looked down first – it was an apple from the tree – then he looked up. The fruits seemed tempting. He carefully climbed the tree and started plucking the apples one at a time. After he had gathered enough he wished to come down when he saw a man sitting below. He wasn’t aware of his presence till then. Morris stealthily climbed down but not before accidentally dropping one of his fetched apples. It hit the man on his head. Caressing his head, the man picked up the apple from the ground. He kept staring at it. By then Morris had climbed down. And as he did the man looked at him for the first time.
“I was taking few apples for my children.” Morris lied in a casual manner. “Hope you don’t mind.”
“No I don’t mind for that’s not important. What’s important is why did the apple fall?”
“I need to go. I am getting late. May be one day you will exactly know why the apple fell.” Morris said with a hint of mockery and left the place in a hurry.
Mr. Newton wasn’t bothered though. He stared at the apple trying to figure out the reason behind the fall. He was sure to make use of this shooting star.
The rest, as we all know, is history.