Once upon a time there was a man named Mike McMorris, who lived on the railroad tracks. Every morning when he left for work at the Smithboro factory for reflective dog collars, Mike would worry and wonder if his little house was in trouble. Sure enough, every evening at seven o’clock, when he got home, his little house was knocked down. Every night before he went to sleep in-between the railroad ties, Mike McMorris would re-build his house, back up to specific and exacting measurements.
One day, Mike McMorris was not awakened by the alarm on his wonderful, if aging, time-piece. He slept and he slept. Then he slept some more. He awoke to the distant sound of chugging iron and a high-pitched whistle that seemed to grow nearer and nearer. As Mike reached for his cell phone (everybody on the planet has a cell phone- even people who live on railroad tracks…you can google that fact if you think I’m lying), he heard a determined knock at the last 2X4 that represented a proud front door from years ago. He did not know this man.
The stranger did not take time to introduce himself. He reached into Mike McMorris’ entry way and pulled him from his house- just in time! Mike looked behind him as he was dragged away- quite rudely- from his home to see a curious sight. A train was running through his living room, leaving his home as crushed and mangled as it seemed every night at seven o’clock. The stranger said little but “come with me”.
I used to love those old books that were called “Choose Your Own Adventure”, do you remember them? You would come to a fork in the road and you would get a choice about what to do next. In Mike McMoriss’ story, for instance, you would be given one of two options:
a) Mike McMorris thanks the stranger, hustles to work at the Smithboro facory for reflective dog collars, clocks in late, returns at seven o’clock and goes to work rebuilding his house.
b) Mike McMorris decides to follow the stranger, to learn from him and to take his advice on how to build his life on a plot of land that was not occupied by a train every morning.
Choose your own adventure.