February 4, 2014–Prompt- Sweeping the Street

Sweeping the Street
Was cruising along the boulevard in my running gear. As I did so I ran into the normal street sweeper guy all dressed in his garb, laced up shoes, tucked in tights and tank top. It was a hot afternoon and he vehemently disliked my wandering into his tidy results of cleaning that part of the street. My swift foot steps created wind filled steps that dislodged his work and distributed it in endless directions across his already tidily filed actions. He hurled his sweeping tools in my direction. I tripped over the handle of his broom and landed on the sidewalk abruptly thus placing a blow onto my shoulder as my body piled onto the street. He punched upon me with fist filled blows of anger. I felt great swelling occurring on my lips and tasted blood that already was oozing onto my taste buds. I rolled my body and with my feet flung intense blows of retaliation into the air. One blow caught his ear. and he went flaying across the boulevard into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. The cyclist laid his bike and slid into his body slamming him into the opposite curb and crushing his torso into the concrete. Great intense groans of agony were heard coming form his larynx. I jumped to my feet and bolted into an opposite direction disappearing into a side street.  Lookers-on yelled. He went in that direction, over the…=

By Sam Fisher

 

On a trip to Italy, motoring through one small village after another, I couldn’t help but notice how clean the streets were and how well tended the flowers in the town squares were. While sitting at an outdoor café in one of these villages, I saw this old man sweeping the street. The café looked out over the village square and it had a fountain in the center. As the old man swept, he kept looking at the water in the pool at the base of the fountain. Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer and got up and walked over to the fountain to see what he was looking at. There were three geese swimming around. As I could speak Italian I started talking to the old man. He told me they were his geese and every day when he would come to sweep, the geese followed him from home and would get in the fountain. When the geese would get out and start for home, he would know his day was done. Then he would follow them home.

He said he used to be the mayor of the village and the tradition was that when the mayor retired he would sweep the streets, either until he died or until the next mayor retired. When the banker of the village retired, he was the one who took care of all the beautiful flowers. It was a matter of great honor to be able to do this for the people of the village, and has been this way for generations. It seems the surrounding villages have a competition as to who has the cleanest streets and most beautiful flowers.

Jerry Stapleton

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