This is a discussion on Red Marbles within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I usually don't post things like this, but thought it was really good... ================================= RED MARBLES I was at the corner grocery store buying some ...
I usually don't post things like this, but thought it was really good...
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller.
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it" said Miller.
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?" the store owner asked.
"Not zackley but almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble". Mr. Miller told the boy.
"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store."
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.
They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them.
Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt."
"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho "
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED .
NRA Rifle Coach
NRA Pistol Instructor
NRA Personal Protection In the Home Instructor
--- Some of the friendliest people I have ever talked to are gun owners and shooters and according to the gun activists we are the mass murders and felons of the nation???
The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD
I saw this once before and am glad to have been able to re-read it ... the message is plain and one to take on board.
There is fortunately still much good left in this world - just sad that it is so often over-shadowed by too much bad.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
Thank God for men of conviction and extraordinary insight and love.
When you accept mediocrity you sow the seeds for future failure.
One should never confuse good fortune with good training.
Illegitimus Non Carborundum. In God we trust.
Great. Thanks for posting it.
I'm certain the members will love reading it.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
It is good that we remember how we should live out lives
A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.
I really enjoyed the story. Thank You.
CRIME..... LAW DEFINES, POLICE ENFORCE, CITIZENS PREVENT!
FOUR BOXES KEEP US FREE:  SOAP  BALLOT  JURY  AMMO!
That one gives you a lump in your throat for sure. Thanks for posting it!
great story !
" Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "
Just call me a pessimistic optimist !
U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992
Good story...great advice...
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
True compassion in action!
Wouldn't it have been great to learn that the Miller's both had CCW permits...