Drinking from the Well of God
Trent M. Walters
he world is much different seen from underwater, Henry decides.
Certainly, murky anyway: being baptized in a river. An air bubble glubs
from his mouth and over his head. He tentatively taps the pastor's hand
(in case the pastor had forgotten him down there). The hand shoves him
down, lower (not forgotten, he guessed). Henry shrugs and waits. He
tries to whistle a simple tune -- "Old MacDonald" -- to pass the time,
but it's garbled and only succeeds in losing valuble oxygen. So Henry
thinks he'll think instead -- which ought to use up considerably less
oxygen (for him anyway).
He swore "never again" would he ever touch the bottle. Once he swore
up and down he'd never get drunk again, but then he ran over that second
child, so he had to change his tune a little. But it is sort of funny
that the second child he hit was of the same family as the first.
Parents ought to be more careful where they let their children play.
There are, after all, in urban areas squirrels that people tend to
swerve from in order to avoid collision. Sometimes a driver has to
drive up a curb, so he can get out of the way, sometimes a curb's not
enough, sometimes you've got to drive onto the front lawn -- now it so
happened to be that Henry's "squirrel" turned out not to be a squirrel,
but that shouldn't detract from his overall theory.
Henry knew, though, that a simple oath wouldn't keep him on the
straight and narrow. So when the pastor of a small local church
campaigned adamantly against Henry's prosecution, he knew just what he
ought to do: get religion. And Henry never did nothing half-heartedly.
It was always whole hog. Complete conversion. Ham steak with red eye
gravy. Twenty-four hours of James Bond movies on TBS. Swerving onto
somebody's lawn for a squirrel's well-being.... Whole hog. So now he
committed himself to God with the help of this kindly minister.
Actually it was the minister who impressed him so much that he wanted to
give his life to God: he was the father of those two children he hit.
Isn't that impressive? A man so selfless, so giving, so Godly that he
put away his differences in order to campaign for his ideal. Henry
really admired that man.
Henry turns his head to look up to the pastor. Yeah, he sure is proud
to become a member of that man's congregation, to adhere to the ideals
of God when led by such a one. He grins though the river's pretty
murky, and he's pretty sure the pastor can't see his face from his
First published: August 1997