Two pieces of farmland next to each other were owned by two brothers. They shared everything together, their tools, their experiences, they helped each other and both looked out for the other.

One day, their egos got the better of them and they argued about who had the right over the tools and machinery they co-owned. Their forty year old solidarity turned into an embittered falling out. Cold war ensued and neither of them looked in the other’s direction let alone say a single word.

One morning, John the older brother heard a soft knock on his door. He opened it to find a man who introduced himself saying that he is a carpenter and that he is looking for work.

“Oh…a carpenter! Well, I just might have a job for you”, said John. “Look across that creek, there is a farm. That’s my neighbor’s farm. In fact, he is my younger brother. Last week there was a lush green meadow between us, and he took his bulldozer to the river, and now…there’s a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll get the better of him. I have some lumber in my barn. I want you to build me a fence, an 8-foot fence, so I won’t be able to see his place or his face anymore.” said John.

The carpenter said with a smile, “I think I know what I need to do, sir. I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you for sure.”

John had to go to town. So, he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and he was off for the day. The carpenter worked all day – measuring and sawing and nailing and so on. By dusk, when John returned, he could not believe what he saw.

His eyes grew wide, his jaw dropping. There was no fence there at all! Instead, it was a bridge, one that stretched from one side of the creek to the other.

Adding to his amazement, he saw his younger brother walking towards him, with his arms outstretched! “You are quite a fellow, brother! To build a bridge after all that I have said and done to you”, said the younger brother.

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge and walked to the middle of the bridge taking each other’s hands smiling away.

John turned to see the carpenter pack his tool bag and lug it onto his shoulder, preparing to leave. “Hey, no…wait……stay a few more days…I have many more projects for you”, said John.

“I’d love to stay on, but I have many more bridges to build”, said the carpenter as he walked away with a smile on his lips!

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Seema Chinchore

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