Saturday, July 4, 2009

The End Of The Road

A mother and her young son drove to town for an afternoon of shopping. On the way, they passed an ice-cream shop decorated with bright balloons. The boy began sobbing.

“What’s wrong honey,” asked his mother, “don’t you feel well?”

“I want ice-cream!” he wailed.

“Maybe later," she added, "if you’re especially good.”

He whimpered once and grew quiet. Presently they drove by another ice-cream store with a laughing clown waving out front. Again the boy’s tears flowed.

“Now what is it Billy?” His mother turned to look at him. “We’ll be at the super market in a few minutes.”

“Ice-cream!” he cried.

Billy continued crying all the way to the market. He cried in the can-goods aisle. He wept as they passed the produce section.

Exasperated, his mother gave in and bought him a scoop of Raspberry Road.

Billy’s eyes lit up and with great gusto he slurped the frozen treat. Soon his face and hands and even his little sailor’s suit were magenta colored. He resembled a grinning raspberry.

It took a while, but finally Billy ate down to the sticky sugar cone. Suddenly he stopped. He stared hard at the last bites of cone. He looked up at his mother. Slowly, his smile turned upside down. Billy burst into tears.

“What in the world is wrong?” said his mother. “Raspberry Road is your favorite.”

With the last of the ice-cream dripping down his hand, Billy stood weeping on the sidewalk.

Then, as if the weight of the world pressed down on him, he whispered.

“In two more bites there won’t be any ice-cream left.”