The Bigot - None so blind as those who will not see

No, this is not the farmer. The story is fiction.

One day the rains came. The Big Wet had begun

In Australia, when the rains come, it is not uncommon to have rivers break their banks, buildings, bridges and roadways to be washed away and...men and women and children to find themselves marooned. As I write this the State of Queensland, in Australia, is suffereing their worse floods in 100 years. An area bigger than the whole of Texas is awash with flood water.

Here is a story I made up some years ago. I hope you like it.

There was once a very religious man who lived by a river. A farmer, he was a member of the ‘Callathumpian’ Faith. It was the only faith. He would brook no nonsense with other nonsensical religions.

One day the rains came. It poured down. Day after day the rains fell on the mountains and the plains and the river rose. Soon it had broken its banks and flooded all the surrounding terrain. The house in which the man lived was surrounded, cut off, by fast-flowing flood water. And still the river rose.

The sky clouded over and the rains began.

Soon the river had broken its banks...and still it rose.

The farmer climbed onto his roof.

No, this is not the man.  But such photos are hard to come by.  This one, courtesty of Internet.
No, this is not the man. But such photos are hard to come by. This one, courtesty of Internet.

The farmer had great faith. He believed in his heart that God would save him.

Now it was lapping at the foundations. Now it was up to the first floor. The farmer climbed onto his roof. With waters raging around him he prayed to God for his life. And he had faith, he believed in his heart that God would save him

He heard voices calling from a section of high ground.

He remained in this wretched, cold, sodden, condition for many hours. Then he heard voices from a section of high ground some fifty yards away. It wash high ground which led to safety. People were calling to him.

These people were not his people...

Hindus helping in rescue in a flood swollen Indian River.
Hindus helping in rescue in a flood swollen Indian River.

They called to him to catch hold of the rope.

The next moment a number of brown-skinned men wearing turbans and Eastern clothing came out of the bush. They called to him to catch hold of the strong rope they were attempting to toss over to him attached to a heavy stone. Again and again they hurled the rope in their attempts to save him. But the man did not move. He did not respond. He made no attempt whatever to grab the rope. You see, these men were either Sikhs or Moslems, or something of that nature. They were not Callithumpians and their God was not his God.

In the end the men went away.

The Bigoted Man and the Big Wet. The Chinese dugout canoe was right alongside.

Sometime later, the man looked up as he heard somebody yelling to him. The voice was close. He saw a Chinese in a dugout canoe right alongside. This man was holding onto the roof-gutter of the man’s house, just below where the farmer was desperately clinging on to his roof.

These were heathens - He wasn't going with these devil worshippers.

Young Buddhist monks crossing river in a canoe.
Young Buddhist monks crossing river in a canoe.

Come quickly, I cannot hold on for long.

The man in the canoe called. “Come quickly. I cannot hold on for long. There is room for another in my canoe. Quick. Slide down the roof and come aboard. I will save you.”

But the Chinese man was a Buddhist. Indeed, the farmer could see his would-be rescuer was wearing a saffron robe and had a string of Buddhist meditation beads hanging from his neck. The man was a Buddhist monk. His God was not the man’s God, so he waved him away.

The man in the saffron robe hung on for as long as he could. Then he had to let go. He hadn’t the strength to stay longer

The pale sun faded and it became very dark.

But still he had faith that God would save him.

Once again the farmer marooned on the roof was alone. But he had faith. God would save him.

It was nearly dark now. The light was fading fast. Then he heard it. The roar of an engine. He looked skyward. A helicopter. The helicopter swept overhead. Then it returned. There was a man in the cockpit. He was winching out a rope with harness attached.

The man on the roof stared skyward.

The man on the roof stared skyward. The would-be rescuer was dressed in black robes and had a little round cap on the back of his head He was a Jew. A rabbi. Not of the farmer’s faith. The Jew’s God was not the farmer’s God, so he made no attempt to fit the harness over himself, even though it was just inches away. Rescue would have been so easy.

He felt the downdraft of the helicopter blades.

Helicopter rescue taking place.   Yep, the farmer in our story chose not to go...
Helicopter rescue taking place. Yep, the farmer in our story chose not to go...

The helipcopter pilot pleaded with the farmer to put on the safety harness.

Around and around the helicopter pilot flew, pleading with the man to slip the harness over his shoulders. But the farmer would not.

In the end, fuel low, the helicopter flew away.

And the waters rose. The man on the roof was swept away in the raging torrent. And as he went, knowing now that he would surely die -he wondered why God had let him down.

My question to you, dear readers, is 'Did God let him down?'

I hope you enjoyed my little story, The Bigot - None so blind as those who will not see.

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