Too Late to Change

by uselessness
originally published at 04:02PM on Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sam’s tears spoke for him. “You’ve always been a father to me,” he managed. “How could I ever treat you in such a way?”

The wizened old man placed his hand on Sam’s shoulder. “I remember when you were born. The whole village was proud of you, and together we raised you in utmost humility. No one was ever as happy to lend a hand as you were. Little Sammy…”

“Where did I go wrong?”

“As you grew, you became stronger. You started helping people with things they didn’t need help for. And your followers”—the old man turned to face the crowd in the room—”continued to amass until no one dared turn down your service. We were terrified of this child, grown up.”

A spark of resolve passed across Sam’s face. “All of you, please… go home. We can’t keep living like this.”

“No.” It was a new voice. Sam and the man looked up together. It was Bert, the teacher.

“If we leave you, I’ll be out of a job. I need you, Uncle Sam.”

“But your salary is stolen money,” said Sam.

“What does that matter to me? I have to eat.”