The Day I Become a Hero by John-Michael Papirchuk
The genuine account of ‘The Day I Became a Hero’ is a lesson of how quickly the fickle Lady Fame can turn a genuine hero to a zero in the blink of dark, almond eyes. A hero’s status depends on the adulation heaped on him or her by appreciative fans, in my case my co-workers. The same tale told to one who is pragmatic and having nothing to gain can elicit a much different response, if not of scorn then a decided lack of enthusiasm. No praise or bravos, rather a noncommittal well, I guess you had to be there. To think I’d believed for decades at least on one occasion I’d behaved in admirable fashion – hard cheese, I guess.
La Belle Dame en Rouge by John-Michael Papirchuk
La Belle Dame en Rouge is a reminiscence of a youthful episode when I learned something profound about myself but the lesson didn’t become clear until many years had passed. That incident predicted much of my future reticence towards accepting any kind of gift for whatever reason. I hasten to add not out of a noble attitude or a superior code of conduct, but simply because I was loathe to accept that which I’d not earned through my own efforts. And yet, there are surely times when it is the right thing to do, to allow someone the opportunity to offer a gift freely without expecting anything in return. It’s always a conundrum for me but one that is worth resolving per each individual case.
AN OWLING TALE by John-Michael Papirchuk
An Owling Tale is the telling of a long forgotten episode that tormented my early years. I was a sensitive lad who easily believed what he heard coming from an adult mouth; blind trust in an elder’s story was normal and doubt wouldn’t be contemplated, not for one second. When an especially older and authoritative figure claimed that owls predicted death I had no reservation whatsoever over the veracity of that statement. Hence, the sound or sight of an owl pierced me with dread for years to come. It was palpable fear that haunted my nights – if only adults would take into account the presence of children instead of ignoring their existence much psychological harm would never take root. Too bad the adult in question didn’t take heed of a very French saying when discussing delicate subjects, “Shush, pas devant les enfants.” In other words take into consideration that children believe literally and fail to see the figurative in an anecdote. This lesson I took to heart in my own dealings with children; if reading this true tale makes one adult more circumspect in the future, I’ll be satisfied it wasn’t merely a spooky event and my travails for naught.
APRICOT FEVER by John-Michael Papirchuk
Apricot Fever is a cautionary tale, one that may shock the pusillanimous and the weak of heart but surely it will provide more than one amused snicker, certainly a smile and perhaps elicit a sardonic ‘hard cheese’ comment from the less than sympathetic reader. Still, it was a hard knock introduction to the realization that adults all too often aren’t deep in the wisdom department; in fact the skin of an onion has more substance. The incident is a true-life event that since has resulted in an immediate state of skeptical alert when confronted by an attitude of superiority based on longevity or seniority alone.