“What a fool?!” thought the old man, seeing a young man coming up the path. He wasn’t looking out at the pond. He seemed to see little more than his feet and the dog that would sometimes wander away from him.
“What a fool?!” thought the young man. This grandpa had stopped on the path, put down his walking stick and is taking out his binoculars. Binoculars? There’s nothing to see here through binoculars. Just some geese floating around on the surface of a pond. More of a puddle really.
“I wonder if I should tell him.” After all, this young man doesn’t know the beauty of all that’s around in this park. He doesn’t see the beauty of a recently thawed pond. Or of Canadian geese chasing each other around. If I’d been smart enough to pay attention while my eyes were good I wouldn’t have to be standing here now, large binoculars on my eyes letting me make out the geese clearly.
“I wonder if I should tell him.” After all, some old people don’t mean to be so careless. Maybe he doesn’t mean to block the path. Perhaps he’s just forgotten where he is, and that he’s making it harder for others to walk by. Maybe if he knew, he’d move out of the way, or better yet, keep walking.
“It’s probably not worth it.” He’s young and self-assured, certain that the world is his for conquest and nothing more. He may sometimes notice beauty, but he probably quickly blinks and hopes it will disappear. The young have no time—or think they have no time—for stopping and paying attention to little things, like the geese on this pond.
“It’s probably not worth it.” He’s old and ornery. He’ll probably just think that I’m an ignorant young man who can’t be bothered to walk around him. He’s probably doesn’t care where he is; probably thinks that he’s old so the rules don’t apply to him. After all, he probably always walked to school, up hill both ways, in the freezing snow.
“Then, maybe he knows.” Maybe he’s taking a look at this pond and these geese. And though he may not be getting everything from it, he’s probably getting something.
“Then, maybe he knows.” Maybe he knows that he’s in the way. Maybe that’s the point. Trying to get me and others to take a second and look at what he’s looking at.
“It sure is pretty, this world.”
“It sure is.”
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