“Go here or there or there?” the young man asks.   He jabs a finger at the map on his lap.

“It seems to me,” the old man begins, “that you have cluttered up that head of yours.”

“But which way?”

“Which way do you want to go?”

“All of them.”

“Humph.” The old man takes a draw from his pipe.  Settles deeper into his blanket coat.  His hand strokes the neck of the old dog lying between them on the porch step.

“So I choose one. Is that it?  But what about the others?”

“They will be waiting like old Gus here.” The hound sinks his grey muzzle into the old man’s fingers stroking under his chin.  “Or not.”

“But what if I make a mistake?”

“There are just choices in matters like these. You choose; the others wait on the porch.  Or not.  Sometimes you come ‘round again.  Sometimes you don’t.  Mind you, a mistake is stepping out on one road with your mind hard at another.  Then you drift and get all hung up in the wait-a-minute vines.  Mind your steps, and, in time, you will find something happens indeed.”

The old man takes a long series of puffs from his pipe and looks out on the dew-covered fields, rows tinged golden in early morning light.

“What, WHAT?” the young man asks. He rolls up the map and stashes it in his satchel.

“Why, my boy, you find yourself at another road.”

Copyright © 2015, Ilana Hulsey Rea. All rights reserved.


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