Happy and sad endings
There was a wonderfully heart-warming, and true story, which came out of the deep south of America a few years back.
We don’t remember all the details, but sometimes the moral of a story can pack a greater punch than the narrative itself.
Suffice it to say the yarn was about a boy who swam for several miles through the alligator-infested waters of a river. He also lived to tell the tale, as the old saying goes, “with not a feather out of him.”
That touching story of survival was brought much closer to home last week when a young five-year-old girl in the Trinity South town of Heart’s Delight-islington made a perilous trek from a house to the town hall.
While her journey may have been only half a kilometre in length, let’s not forget, it was over some rough terrain covered in snow and ice. If that weren’t enough, she also managed to cross a swollen stream, whose banks were lined with thorn bushes. It’s believed the current may have carried her along before making it safely to the other side. Then she crossed a main highway before finally reaching the safe haven of the town hall, complete with ambulance attendants and a public health nurse.
Did we mention the girl had nothing on her feet and the temperature was below zero?
Except for some blistering, the young girl is none the worse for ware.
Considering the dangers at every turn for such a small person, people in the community, including her father, have described the girl’s survival as a “miracle.”
It’s a word often uses to describe events that are otherwise inexplicable, especially those with positive outcomes.
The Dashboard Dictionary defines a miracle as, “a surprising and welcoming event that is not explicable by natural scientific laws, and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.”
As people of faith, her family believes the work of some divine agency intervened that day to deliver their precious daughter safely into their arms.
After retracing his daughter’s footsteps, her father felt “it was a miracle she got through the river.”
If you could only see her tiny footprints in that snow, you too would agree. She may have been petite. But helpless? Hardly! What children are capable of doing and how far they can sometimes go when determined enough to find the safety and comfort of the arms of their parents never ceases to amaze us.
Just how determined are this little people? How resilient! How hardy can they be at all!
The story of the boy in America’s deep south surviving his swim through alligator-infested waters and that of the barefoot young girl in Trinity South surviving the perils of a frosty February day in Newfoundland are strikingly similar.
In the case of the latter, we were happy to report its happy ending. But not all such stories have such happy endings. We are reminded of the recent story of a 14- year- old Labrador boy, whose lifeless body was found 19 kilometres from his snowmobile, more than three days after leaving his home in Makkovik. Burton Winters’ determination, desperation and futile efforts to make it home captured the hearts of a province and nation.
Those of us in the media racket get to tell you all of these stories, the happy and the sad — always wishing we could write endings as happy as the one we penned this week.
— Bill Bowman, The Compass