The Ferryman’s Wisdom
In the winter of 1650, I was going into the city of Chiaochuan from the Little Harbor, accompanied by a boy carrying a big load of books, tied with a cord and strengthened with a few pieces of board.
It was toward sunset and the country was covered with haze. We were about a mile from the city.
“Will we be in time to get into the city before the gates are closed?” I asked the ferryman.
“You will if you go slowly. But if you run, you will miss it,” replied the ferryman, casting a look at the boy.
But we walked as fast as possible. About halfway, the boy fell down. The cord broke and the books fell on the ground. The boy sat crying. By the time we had retied the package and reached the city gate, it was already closed.
I thought of that ferryman. He had wisdom.