There are a few who have everything they could want, and then there are the rest of us. It’s not so much that I was hungry that day, but the increasingly vacant look in my child’s eyes.
As I was walking past the bakery, I couldn’t help myself. I walked in the door, grabbed a loaf of bread, and ran. After hiding in a dark alley for quite some time, I hoped that any pursuers might have given up the chase. I left the alley and walked, as nonchalantly as possible back to our small shack. Once I arrived, I broke the bread into pieces and slowly fed my girl. She would not be hungry tonight!
It was not until the next day that I heard a knock. I opened the door to see the sillouette of a man framed against the harsh morning sun.
“Good Morning,” he said. “I’m Officer Crumm. One of your neighbours reported that you came home yesterday with a loaf of bread, and that you had a suspicious look about you. Can you produce a receipt for that loaf?”
I knew that I could never hide my guilt. “My daughter…” I stammered. “She was so hungry!”
“I understand. It’s not easy to see your child starving. Even so, the law is the law.”
He looked at me with compassion in his eyes as he told me, “I have to take you in. We need to enforce the law, but we have found a way to help you avoid future hunger as well. The government needs resources made, and so if you will agree to work as a manufacturer for a short time, once you have completed your assigned task, we will let you go. Does that sound agreeable to you?”
I couldn’t have been more surprised. “Of course!” I agreed.
“We are in desperate need of rope for various projects, and knitted hemp fibers seem to be the best sort we can get,” I was told. And so I was taught how to knit. They told me the length of rope that I would need, and was promised that once complete, they would let me go.
Each day I worked from the crack of dawn until I could no longer keep my eyes open. An experienced knitter might have completed the task in a day or two, but it took me almost a week.
Once finished, though, I proudly took my completed rope to the warden. Soon I would see my daughter again!
“Thank you,” he said. “We will release you tomorrow.”
That was yesterday. This morning a guard has come to my cell. “Follow me. I have come to let you go.”
I can’t believe how easy they have been on me!
Just ahead, though, I see the rope that I made. It is dangling from a beam above a trap door. That’s not what I thought they meant by “letting me go.”
Written for Inspiration Monday. I responded to the prompt knitting nooses.