Human Response


A quick creative, short story… enjoy!


I sat there and watched. Captivated by his captivation. He picked up a stick out of the rocks. It was small and he could hold it with one hand. His eyes got big as he brought it closer to his face in front of his nose and let out a deep sigh accompanied by the expression, “woooaaahhhh”. Truly enthralled by the caterpillar moving at microscopic speed closer to his fingers at the end of the stick. He noticed it, in all its particularities. The dark yellow colors of the spots, the black bumps on its back, and its fuzziness. I saw his desire to touch it meeting his fear of getting hurt. Or maybe he genuinely did not want to hurt such a small creature. Then he called out to the others. Kids frantically running around the slide and swings playing tag. The sound of their shoes ruffling through the pebbles. A few gathered around him as he exclaimed, “Look!”. Two of them seemed to share the same gaze as my son, then immediately ran back to their game. They shared a small moment, but went back like they never missed a beat. My son had no interest in their games. Nor did he care that they weren’t reacting as passionately to this caterpillar. His focus stayed on that caterpillar, as he rotated the stick in the air and tried to bend his head to get different views of the crawling bug. Each angle provided a fresh perspective. His attention to details shocked me. And shook me. When was the last time I looked at anything like that? The river our house backs up to, the job opportunity put in my lap last April, my wife. My wife. When was the last time I looked at her like that? I felt guilty. For the lack of my amazement. I wiped the glare off my eyes to the sight of my son right in front of me smiling as he held his discovery up to my hardened face. “Dad, look!”


Along these same lines, here is an excerpt from Karol Wojtyla’s poem, “The Stream”:


The running stream cannot marvel,

and silently the woods slope down,

following the rhythm of the stream—

but man can marvel!

The threshold which the world crosses in him

is the threshold of wonderment.

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