Take too much?

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sun, 10/27/2013 - 18:29.

 I have been intending to write this story for years.  


My  intention is always piqued at an inopportune time, however.   The time my intention is piqued is inopportune because I am out walking Tucker (the furry guy) – often after dark -  in an old sand pit that has become a park. 
And when I walk in that old sandpit, in the snow, in the rain, with stars overhead,
I remember  the story my long dead friend John Sorabella told me…..
John was about 14 years old.   John was always about business.  Immigrant parents.  He  had access to a 4 wheel cart with a couple of horses.   Some one needed some sand – for masonry work, for whatever…John was off with the team and the wagon to the sand pit.
A little background here…John was 65 or 70 when he was telling me this years ago…John always had a cigarette sort of stuck to his lower lip…like Frank Sinatra…dry saliva musta been the glue…and the once lit cigarette would bob up and down as John spoke. 
Being a smoker, John’s voice was phenomenally raspy and dry sounding.  Like he had sand in his throat.

“Hhhrreeeaaayhhh”  he would say.  (that’s HEY)  Sounded totally Sopranos.  Totally God Father.
My friend Paul and I were meeting with John at John’s business because of a wetlands/flooding issue in which Paul and I were involved.  John wanted to talk about the past – talk about the times when John was a young hustler with two horses and a wagon.
“So I got a customer who was paying me for bringing him sand from the sand pit.  So I took the team and the wagon up to the sand pit and asked the pit attendant fellow how much would it cost for a load of sand on the wagon.
The pit attendant gave me a set price – not for weight, but for the wagon.
So I paid the pit attendant and I took the wagon into the  pit and got out my shovel and started loading ….and I had time to think…I thought the sky’s the limit…I can load the wagon to the moon, sell some to the first customer, and have sand left to sell to a second customer.
I loaded the wagon ‘til the sand was just sliding off..
Then I got up into the wagon, grabbed the reins, and yelled at the horses to go…
The wagon wouldn’t budge.   All four wheels were mired down in the sand. 
I gave the horses another yell, and smacked them with the bamboo switch.  
The horses gave a massive heave, ripped off the traces, and left for home.
So every time I walk Tucker in the old sand pit, now a park, I say thanks to John.  
What a wonderful parable to let me understand that when you can take it all,  only a fool takes more than what is reasonable and expected – or something like that.
Thanks John.   
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