Rolph David

The Tale of the Sad Sadness

Once upon a time there was a little woman walking along a dusty country lane. She was obviously very old, but her gait was light and her smile had the fresh glow of a carefree girl.

At a huddled figure sitting by the side of the path, she stopped and looked down.

The being sitting there in the dust of the path seemed almost incorporeal. It resembled a grey blanket with human contours.

The little woman bent down to the figure and asked, "Who are you?"

Two almost lifeless eyes looked up wearily. "Me? I am Sadness," the voice whispered haltingly and so softly that it could barely be heard.

"Oh the sadness!" the little woman exclaimed delightedly, as if greeting an old acquaintance.

"You know me?" asked Sadness suspiciously.

"Of course I know you! Time and again, you have accompanied me part of the way."

"Yes but..." suspiciously asked Sadness, "then why don't you flee from me? Aren't you afraid?"

"Why should I run away from you, my dear? You yourself know only too well that you catch up with every fugitive. But, what I want to ask you, why do you look so despondent?"

"I..., I am sad," said the grey figure.

The little old woman sat down with her. "Sad you are, then," she said, nodding her head in understanding. "Why don't you tell me what's troubling you?"

Sadness sighed deeply.

"Oh, you know," she began hesitantly, also surprised that anyone would actually listen to her, "it's just that no one likes me. It is my destiny to go among the people and stay with them for a certain time. But when I come to them, they shy away. They fear me and avoid me like the plague."

Sadness swallowed hard.

"They have invented phrases to banish me. They say, 'Fiddle-dee-dee, life is cheerful' and their fake laughter causes stomach cramps and shortness of breath. They say, 'Praise be to what makes hard' and then they get heartache. They say, 'All you have to do is pull yourself together' and they feel the tearing in their shoulders and back. They say, 'Only weaklings cry' and the pent-up tears almost burst their heads. Or else they numb themselves with alcohol and drugs so they don't have to feel me."

"Oh yes," the old woman confirmed, "I have come across people like that many times too..."

The sadness sank in a little more.

"And all I want to do is help people. When I am very close to them, they can meet themselves. I help them build a nest to nurse their wounds. Those who are sad have a particularly thin skin. Some sorrow breaks open again, like a badly healed wound, and that hurts a lot. But only those who allow their grief and cry all the unshed tears can really heal their wounds. But people don't want me to help them at all. Instead, they make up a lurid laugh over their scars. Or they put on a thick armour of bitterness."

Sadness fell silent. Her weeping was first faint, then stronger, and finally quite desperate. The little old woman took the slumped figure comfortingly in her arms. How soft and gentle it felt, she thought, tenderly stroking the trembling bundle.

"Only cry, sadness," she whispered lovingly, "rest so that you can gather strength again. From now on you shall no longer wander alone. I will accompany thee, lest despondency gain more power."

Sadness stopped crying. She straightened up and looked in amazement at her new companion, "But..., but - who are you?"

"Me?" said the little old woman with a grin. "I am Hope."

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Rolph David.
Published on e-Stories.org on 10/23/2023.

 
 

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