Taking Pity on a Good Samaritan

Have you ever paused to do a good deed and suddenly found yourself in an embarrassing predicament? I had that experience this summer. I wonder if you can relate….

As I swerved around the toppled tree the first time, I thought, “This is dangerous!”

Trip #2 merited a: “Someone should do something!”

By the third trip, I knew. If this tree was getting moved, I’d have to do it.

Last night’s storm is what did the little fellow in. The tree had fallen out of the swampy no-man’s-land that birthed it to block a particularly well-travelled portion of our dirt road. Cars continually swerved to avoid it, but only one distracted motorists was needed to create a catastrophe.

On this summer evening, I pulled my ’97 Lumina to a stop and surveyed the situation. It looked easy enough: snap off a few twigs, give a quick shove, and the obstacle would tumble into the weeds. I wondered why no other Good Samaritan had stopped.

As I got out of my vehicle and drew closer, I realized that this wasn’t just a twiggy branch that had broken from the trunk; this was an entire young tree snapped off at the root. Resolutely, I grabbed the trunk and heaved. Nothing.

With a gulp and a quick glance around to make sure I had no audience, I tried again. This time a small branch broke off in my hand. I looked back at my Lumina. It would be so easy to climb back inside, swerve around the obstruction for the fourth time, and maintain a semblance of dignity. But somebody had to move this obstacle. One-by-one, piece-by-piece, I began tearing limbs off and tossing them aside.

Suddenly, a white pickup crested the hill. With renewed vigor, I threw myself into my work. I wasn’t about to show any sign of weakness.

As the seconds passed, the crumbly crunch of gravel grew louder. Then it stopped.

“You’re going to need a chainsaw, sweetie,” a man called.

I tossed a smile over my shoulder as I glanced at the two middle-aged male occupants of the vehicle.

“Probably so,” I said as I broke off another twig. “But I’ll slim it down.” I hurled the branch into the swamp.

Crunk. Thud.

I scuttled back as the two construction worker types swaggered up to the obstruction. Exchanging a glance and a nod, the men shoved. In ten seconds, the tree slid into the weeds. Without commenting on my many words of appreciation, the two sauntered back to their truck and drove off.

My face grew warm as I scurried back to my own car and began the half mile trek home. I imagined the picture I made—the skinny, twenty-something trying to force a tree off the road. Tearing off twigs and tossing them aside like a dog flinging mud while hole-digging.

At the same time, a slow smile climbed down my throat and bubbled into a giggle. Whether these men were truly chivalrous gentlemen or simply taking pity on a dumb blonde, I’ll never know. Regardless, I had inspired them to do a good deed. My unintentional performance had provoked enough sympathy to get the job done.

What about you? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your apparent stupidity accomplished something ? I’d love to hear your story!

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