Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Bill Well Paid.


The Highland Coo

Before moving house and while still running I ran passed and through many of the places I did as a young boy. One of my routes took in a part of one of the familiar walks I did with my father. Sunday morning for me was not like many of my friends. They went to church and Sunday School, I went walking with my father. There I learned all about nature, the names of birds and trees and wild flowers. My love of wild mushrooms was nurtured during the autumn and the mushroom time.

On one of those routes I passed a long narrow strip of woodland where my father used to gather dead twig branches to protect his crop of growing peas. At the end of the season those and the pea plants now finished producing a crop were burned and the ash dug back into the ground.

At the end of these wood there used to be three small cottages. I remember one day feeling brave, I took one of my friends out on one of those walks. It was a real adventure to be out alone and a good way from home. We knocked on the door of the first cottage and asked for a glass of water. The lady took us round the back of the cottage and in the back garden served us a glass of lemon drink and gave us a fresh cooked bit of shortbread. 

The cottages are no longer there but that day and the lady still lives fresh in my memory. It was one of the best drinks and shortbread I had ever tasted.

There is a similar but better true story I share with you now.

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.
Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"
"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."
He said, "Then I thank you from my heart."
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his believe in the goodness of humanity was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.
Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.
After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Something caught her attention on the side of the bill, and she read the following words:
"Paid in full with one glass of milk"
Signed,
Dr Howard Kelly

1 comment:

  1. Lovely stories. Kindness will always be rewarded in some shape or form

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