The Tale of the Pebble

Two stones once stood side by side on a cliff, both grand and majestic in size and in strength.  Through many storms they had not moved.  All who passed by marveled at their strength, their ability to stand and not be moved.

But then one day something changed.

One of the rocks felt a shiver down his back.  And then wetness.  Looking down he saw water trickling out at the base of his feet.  Soon the trickle turned to a stream.  He could feel himself losing his grip on the hillside.

The second rock looked sideways out of his eye, and seeing the predicament of first rock, he laughed.

His laugh turned to a roar as the first rock tumbled down the hillside.  Now it would be him alone that would be the strongest, the most majestic.  He would be the only one those passing by would see.  He would receive their accolades.

The first rock tumbled down the hill, pain shooting as piece after piece broke off until he lay in a splintered heap at the bottom of the river valley.  He looked up and saw the place from which he had fallen.  There stood the second rock, just as majestic and powerful, stable and strong as he had always been.  Beside him…

An empty gouge.

The first rock looked away.  All around him lay the pieces of what he had once been.  Broken.  Shattered.

What use was he now?

Soon the spring rains came.  At first they felt soothing to his fractured self, but soon the waters rose.  The rock found himself moving down the valley, swallowed by raging waters that carried him to a place he had never been.

Finally, they spewed him out and he tumbled to a stop along the edge of the river.  Gradually, the waters subsided, and the rock found himself in a sunny valley amongst other rocks and stones that had been carried by the swollen river.  Looking at his reflection in the water, he saw that he was even smaller than before, but smoother.  The waters had removed a few of the jagged edges.

Season after season passed until the rock was no more than a small, smooth pebble, barely noticeable when compared with the other rocks beside it.

One day the rock felt a trembling vibration travel through the ground.  He looked up and saw that two armies stood, one on each side of the valley.  On one side a warrior, tall and strong, came forward and shouted out.  The pebble couldn’t understand the words, but he saw the effect.  The army on the other side fled.

The next day the same thing happened.  And the next.  And the next.  For 40 days.

But one day everything changed.

The pebble saw a face peering down at the creek bed.  A boy was picking up rocks.  After examining them he would either toss them aside or place them in his pouch.  The pebble felt himself picked up and then placed in a pouch with a few other pebbles.

How small he had become to be able to fit in a bag that hung off the hip of the boy.  How weak he was compared to the majestic rock he had once been.

The top of the pouch was opened.  A hand reached in and the pebble soon found itself spinning a circle in the air, and then, the impossible happened.

He was flying!

He was sailing straight through the air towards the giant.

The pebble struck the giant with such force that the giant teetered….and tottered…and then fell to the ground.

Dead.

The impact jarred the pebble loose.  He tumbled along the ground a short ways before coming to a rest.  For a moment all was silent, and then…

The ground trembled.

Just before he was about to be trampled by the stampeding armies, the pebble was picked up once again and placed in the shepherd’s pouch.

After that day, the pebble often found himself in the hands of people as the story was retold of how a small, smooth pebble, in the hands of a shepherd boy was able to topple the giant.

And that day, the pebble learned a “valuable” lesson…his worth was not in what he had been, where he had been or what he had done.

His value was found in the hands of a shepherd.

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