GRANDPA’S TALL (TRUE) TALES

Tale #1 – “The Black Paper”

The east entryway of our church is often used for storing things not in immediate use. When our children lived here they fell heir to a van that went bad and had to be junked. However, the back two sets of seats were in fine condition. The kids had set them out temporarily in the east entryway.

With no continuing need again for the seats, and no van in which to use them, I offered to advertise them in the local “shopper” to give to some needy soul who might want them. Shortly after the ad went into the paper the phone began to ring. I could have given away several sets of seats.

When the day came for the new owner to come and take delivery on the seats there was an abundance of snow in our lower parking lot which would normally be used to pick them up. I decided to attempt to bring them to the upper side for transport from the parking lot there which posed no slipping and spinning problem for the man coming to get them.

As I brought the first set of seats in from the entryway to the main fellowship hall I set them down with a “plunk.” When I did, I saw an odd-shaped piece of black paper fall from the back of the one of the seats. It was about seven inches long and perhaps four inches wide. I bent to pick it up and, as I did, I thought “what a strange-shaped piece of paper.”

By one of the corners I picked up the soft-feeling little paper and tossed it into a nearby small wastepaper basket. Its black color looked odd in contrast to the yellowish bottom of the wastepaper basket. I turned away to get the other set of seats with no more thought to the little paper.

It took about forty-five minutes for me to drag the other, larger, set of seats into the fellowship hall and then to get both sets upstairs and into the west entryway. I finished my work and prided myself on getting them into the easier place from which to load. I then went back downstairs to “button up” my work– close the entryway doors, lock them and tidy up the area in general.

As I turned to walk away from the area, I chanced to glance into the little wastebasket. I was startled by what I saw. The flat, black paper was now crumpled up but lying where I had tossed it. “That’s strange,” I thought, “how could the paper be curled, I left it flat?” As I reached down to pick it up and look at it, a thought came to my mind: “that paper had scalloped edges, I wonder why?” Then it came to me!

I thought, “I don’t think this black paper is a paper at all. I think it is something else.” I carefully picked up the wastebasket and carried it toward the furnace room. I entered the furnace room with the basket thinking, “I’ll set it down here and turn it over and we’ll just see what it is.” In a moment it hit me as to what the “paper” probably was. I gingerly carried the basket out the furnace room door and set it down on the concrete just outside. “What is this thing, anyway?”

As a precaution, I stepped back into the furnace room and pulled the hammer from the wall from among the repair tools there. Then turning back to the out-of-doors, I stepped outside and closed the outer door. Taking the wastebasket by a corner, I flipped it upside down and pulled it back out of the way. In that moment “the little black paper” became a sick but hissing bat! Without a thought I delivered three hammer blows to dispatch it.

The moral of the story: watch yourself the next time you pick up a “little black soft piece of paper”!
GRANDPA’S TALL (TRUE) TALES

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