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The Man With One Glass Eye (Short Story) - Rad Zdero

The Man With One Glass Eye (Short Story) - Rad Zdero

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Published by Rad Zdero
allegory, satire, fable, children's story, fairy tale
allegory, satire, fable, children's story, fairy tale

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Published by: Rad Zdero on Mar 23, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/27/2014

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THE MAN WITH ONE GLASS EYE
Rad Zdero, rzdero@yahoo.caThere once was a man with one missing eye. He didn’t want to put a patch over theempty socket and go about like a pirate. He felt that pirates lived highly stressful lives,since they were expected by pirate peer pressure to scare little children and animals andwere supposed to say “yaaarrrr!” all the time and sport a nasty parrot on one shoulder. Hedidn’t like parrots.The man decided to hire Dr. Harry I. Ball, the best glass eye maker in the entire city,to make an artificial eye for him that looked exactly like his one good eye. Everyone intown was amazed. His friends thought he looked taller. His boss gave him a pay raise.His neighbours brought him potato salad. The man was happy. The years rolled by. Andthe man forgot that he had one glass eye, and so did all the people in town.As you can imagine, the man also faced many hardships. He only saw half of everything. Books never made any sense, since he was only able to read every other page.When he went to an art gallery, all the paintings only looked half done. The man lostweight because he only ate the food on one side of the plate. When he got up in themorning to dress himself, he would only put on one shoe and one sock. And he wouldonly bathe one side of his body. Many people thought him a strange fellow and told himso in no uncertain terms. Oddly enough, he never thought to simply turn his head. Hewasn’t particularly clever.One Sunday morning, as was his habit, the man went to the park, sat down on a bench,and fed the pigeons with his bagful of bread crumbs. But, because he only had one goodeye, he only saw half the pigeons gathered around him. And he only fed them. He didn’tknow any better. Needless to say, the pigeons that went hungry thought the man wasshowing favourites to the others for no good reason. Did they ever raise a fuss! Have youever heard what a flock of angry pigeons sounds like? It sounds like a group of squealingpigs, an old-style motorcar backfiring over and over again, and fingernails scratchingagainst a chalkboard. All happening at once! Not pleasant at all.A peculiar and particularly clever little girl playing in a sandbox nearby heard the criesof the hungry pigeons. Being the precocious child that she was, she skipped over to theman to talk to him. She stood before him and tilted her head to one side as she studied his
 
2 of 2face for some time, her hands resting firmly on her hips. She shuffled over and stood infront of his one good eye, so the man could see her.“Hey mister,” she said. “Mister, why are you only feeding half the pigeons? Don’t youlike the others? Perhaps they were naughty or something.”The man lifted his gaze, wrinkled his brow, and replied, “Little girl, what do youmean? I get up early. I make the bread from only the finest homemade ingredients andthen crumble it into crumbs myself. I walk all the way across the city and seat myself here on this bench, which is rather hard and uncomfortable, let me tell you. I stay late tomake sure all the pigeons are well-fed and happy. I come here every Sunday morningfaithfully, rain or shine, and feed every single pigeon that I see. I know each one by sight.And I’ve been doing this for many years. So, how is it that you can say to me, ‘Why doyou feed only half the pigeons?’” The man said this with more than a hint of frustration atthe girl’s nosiness. He hoped she would go away. She was, after all, just a little girl.Yet, she persisted, like difficult little girls often do. “Mister, can I please, please,please feed the other pigeons? They look quite hungry!”The man was openly hostile now. “Aaarrgghh! What pigeons, little girl? Show me orgo away!” he shouted.So, the little girl scurried out of view and scooped up one of the birds. Then, with birdin hand, she once again appeared, as if by magic, in front of the man’s one good eye.The man, visibly shaken, surveyed the sight and sheepishly asked, “Little girl, wheredid you find that bird? I’ve never seen it before, and I know them all!”She cleared her throat and pointed. “Turn your head and look over there!”The man turned his head and, with his one good eye, spied a large group of pigeonsthat he’d never seen in all these years. The birds were crying out for bread crumbs. Thelittle girl ran back to her sandbox. The man dropped his head into his hands and wept.Then, quite suddenly, he remembered that he had one glass eye.
 
Copyright © Rad Zdero, rzdero@yahoo.ca. All rights reserved.
 Originally published in:
Summer Tapestry: Anthology of Short Stories
, Vancouver,Canada: Poetry Institute of Canada, ISBN 978-1-896965-91-1, 2008, p.32.
 
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