Two Travelers
A new Old Testament story

by Jeff Cateau, one who new the man.

And it came to pass that two travelers met on the road from Gethsemane. They walked together many miles, saying not a word.

One was dressed simply, in a long robe and sandals. The other, a distinguished-looking man, wore a nylon windbreaker and an aircraft carrier ballcap.

Finally, the man in the cap spoke.

"We have journeyed far, and my dogs are barking. How about some succor?"

"Some succor would be nice," replied his companion. "But the landscape is barren, like Whitby."

"Have faith," said the distinguished-looking man. "For as long as is our journey, we shall surely find sustenance."

And yea, as the men cleared the next small hill, an apparition appeared ahead by the roadside.

"See there," said the man in the cap. "It is the house of Tim. Therein shall we find tea, and mayhap a penny bun."

As they entered the building, the man bade greetings to the workers therein. "Hello, Hon!" he said to the first. "Hello, Doll!" to the other.

"I thought you were a stranger to this road," said the man in sandals.

"Verily," replied the other. "But I have visited many houses of Tim, and all who toil there are named Hon, and all are named Doll."

And so greatly were they favored by Hon and Doll that their ration of cream was doubled, and the sugar doubled as well.

As they made to depart, the one called Doll approached the distinguished-looking man. "Excuse me, sir," she entreated. "Are you - are you an astronaut?"

"Well," the man answered grandly, "Aren't we all?"

And yea, Doll was mightily confused.

The man in the cap paid for his fellow traveler's beverage as well as his own, and left extra for the servers, although some was Canadian Tire money.

"I am grateful for your kindness, sir," said the man in the robe when they were back on the road. "I'm sorry - how shall I call you?"

"I am called by many names," replied the man in the cap. "I am called Dad, and I am called Lorne. I am often called Wally, and sometimes I am called an air traffic controller, just because I like it."

Soon another traveler appeared, going the opposite way, carrying a burden.

"Good day," said the man in the sandals.

"Good day, to you both," said the traveler.

"What have you in that load?"

"I build these birdhouses, and take them to the garden at Gethsemane so the birds may delight in them."

"This is a great charity," said the man in sandals. "You must be a wealthy man."

"No, sir," the traveler replied. "I am Joseph, a poor Hooperanian. I do this work for joy. And I cannot stop, for the houses do not last long and must constantly be replaced."

"I can help you, sir," said the man in the cap. And with a flourish, he produced a can of Varathane and bestowed it upon the Hooperanian. "Use this abundantly, and your works shall endure all your days."

"What a gift!" the man cried. "I shall treasure it and guard it well."

"No, no," replied the distinguished-looking man. "Always use more. Joseph, you will delight in the color of many coats."

And they bade Joseph farewell and went on their way.

After a while, the man in the cap asked, "Why do you travel this road?"

"We all travel this road. Our paths may vary, but the destination is the same. What of you? Why do you travel this road?"

"I am off to see my friend Merv. And there will be Dad, and there will be Mom. And the gherkins will flow like honey. And she will pretend not to know how to play gin. Gets 'em every time."

"Then I shall go with you, if I may," said the man in the robe. "And we will journey in grace and in peace."

The man in the cap was quiet for a long time. Then he said, "I have journeyed far. I have flown high. I have known good friends and close family; my children and their children. I have seen many things. I have climbed a damn lot of telephone poles. And until now, I knew not what I sought. A little peace. A little rest. And good companionship," said the man in the cap. "This - this is what I have been looking for. So let us go on and make it so." And they walked on toward the sunset.