Skip to main content

The broommaker's trust

Published October 02. 2010 09:00AM

It's time for another one of Linda's Fairytales.

"The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him." Henry L. Stimson

Once uponce a time there was a good-hearted broommaker. He lived with his dear wife in a little town in the land of Pennsylvania's Amish countryside, where together they made old-fashioned brooms to sell.

The broommaker sometimes found fallen branches that he cleaned then put a nice shiny protective coat on them for handles. They were unique works of art.

They went from village fair to village fair and sold them to help supplement their income in this time of hard economic difficulties.

Now the broommaker had learned that trust is one of the most vital aspects of relationships.

Children trust their parents to provide a home, food, security and love while growing up.

One trusts friends to be there in good times and bad.

One trusts a spouse to love, honor and cherish, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do them part.

But what about strangers? How do you trust a stranger?

Society teaches children to never speak to strangers for fear of them coming to harm.

And yet adults participate in conversations with people they don't know, like in market store lines, in a doctor's office, at a village fair.

But do people trust one another?

The broommaker was someone who tried to treat everyone like he would like to be treated.

Now Sir Harry and Lady Linda had spent a lovely evening at the first night of the village fair. They were on their way to their carriage after watching the spectacular fireworks display when they came upon the broommaker's stall. They saw the handmade brooms and stopped to admire them.

"I really like the ones with the handles made out of tree branches, all knobby and narly," said Lady Linda. "I always wanted one like that to set on the fireplace hearth," she told Sir Harry.

They found one they both agreed on. It was only $20, a veritable bargain for so handsome a piece.

Lady Linda did not bring her coin purse with her and told her husband, "We'll come back another night and purchase it."

The broommaker overheard her and said, "I don't have many with those kind of handles. I can't guarantee there will be any left when you come back."

Sir Harry and Lady Linda looked at each other. They could read each other's thoughts in their eyes: "Ah. He's just trying to get us to buy it tonight."

It worked!

But alas, when Sir Harry checked his wallet he but had only a few dollars left from their fun at the fair. The cost of fair food and raffles had whittled away his cash.

So the couple apologized to the broommaker and turned to walk away.

"Here. Take it with you. You can pay me another night," the broommaker gallantly said.

Sir Harry and Lady Linda looked at him like he just sprouted wings and tail feathers.

"No, tttthank you," Lady Linda stuttered, taken aback by the trusting nature of the broommaker. "We'll come back another time," Lady Linda promised.

But the broommaker picked up the broom and held it out to them.

"Take it. I trust you."

The couple reluctantly took the broom. Of course they would be sure to pay him. Yet it was almost uncomfortable to have this perfect stranger trust them so completely. They knew they were honest people. But how could the broommaker know that?

As they walked on, neither one of them said anything right away, both lost in their thoughts.

Finally Sir Harry blurted out, "Can you believe that? Whoever heard of someone so trusting?"

"I know! It's really weird. Who does that today?" Lady Linda said.

When they got to their carriage, without a word, Sir Harry handed Lady Linda her purse and between them they managed to come up with $20. Sir Harry hurried back to the broommaker to pay him.

You see, they both had the need for the broommaker to feel like his trust hadn't been misplaced.

When they got home, Lady Linda put their new broom on the fireplace hearth. They both stared at it for a few moments, admiring the handsome craftsmanship of it.

But there was an aura of another kind of beauty that seemed to glow about it. Almost magical.

"Whenever I look at it, I'll think about the broommaker's trust," Lady Linda said. "Maybe someday we can pay it forward to another stranger."

The moral of the story is: "Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Classified Ads

Event Calendar


October 2017


Twitter Feed

Reader Photo Galleries