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Thursday, March 28, 2013

What you should do when you come to the end of the road.

Joe lived with his grandfather on the mountain village of Kotu. His parents died when he was but a child. His grandfather, a widower, took him in to bring back some life into his home.

Joe grew up in the village square with all the other children. And used to watch people coming and going along the road. Some never came back. Joe heard many stories about the road from the other children. His grandfather was too old to travel and could not tell him the stories the other parents told them about the road. All he would say was, "when you get to the end of the road, follow the trail of those who have gone before".

Joe grew up like every other boy and went to school. In school, they were told many stories of the road and the great beyond. But his grandfather knew no better. All he could say is, "when you get to the end of the road, follow the trail of those who have gone before".

Joe's school days ended and he took up his role in the village and while working in a shop he gathered courage to ask the shopkeeper if he know what was at the end of the road. The shopkeeper said, "I don't know for sure but I do know that one day we all come to the end of the road.

The sad day came when Joe's grandfather died. Joe was heartbroken and sat around for days in a daze. One day Joe got up and started walking. He walked to the village and told the shopkeeper he was not coming back. He walked through the village and up the street. He walked up the mountain path. And walked on through the forest. He walked on until he came to the end of the trees. Suddenly the road fell away covered with a misty haze. Had he taken one more step he would have fallen over the cliff. Joe stood still. His heart racing within.

Joe took a step back and looked to his left. The trail led off to a pile of rubble. He started towards it, but came racing back when he recognized the grave. The road to the right led off to firm tracks, but when Joe looked up, he saw vultures hovering overhead. Joe stood still. Thinking, thinking, thinking. What had his grandfather said? What had he learned in school. What had the shopkeeper said? Then ever so slightly, the haze lifted and he saw the feint trail down the side… When you reach the end of your road, follow the trail of those who have gone before.

Allan Bukusi

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