Tuesday, December 13, 2011


     “Howdy neighbor,” said Anthony, peeking over his backyard fence. “What are you up to?”
     “Digging a hole,” said Rodney, from inside his hole.
     Anthony stood on his toes to get a better look. “Yeah, I can see that. Looks like you’re in about what, four or five feet deep?”
     “Yep.” Rodney didn’t even look up. He just kept shoveling dirt.
     “So,” said Anthony, “Any reason why you need a hole?”
     “Nope,” said Rodney, tossing a shovel of dirt toward the fence.
     “Because it looks like a lot of work.” Anthony ducked to avoid the airborne dirt. “Are you sure you want to be doing it?”
     Rodney stopped digging and looked up at his neighbor, leaning on the shovel handle. “Anthony, are you jealous of my hole?”
     Anthony smirked at the thought. “Of course not. Why would I be jealous of a hole? I can dig a hole anytime I like.”
     “Yes,” said Robert. “But can you dig one as nice as mine?”
     “You’re a riot, Rodney. Enjoy your hole.” Anthony laughed as he walked back inside his house.
     Once inside, he told his wife about the conversation as they prepared dinner. “Jealous of a hole,” he told her. “Can you believe that?”
     Later, as they watched their crime drama, he brought it up again. “I can’t believe he’s so proud of that dumb hole. It wasn’t even symmetrical.”
     And again, as they crawled into bed. “You know,” he said, “if I did dig a hole, I would do it right. First, you need to sharpen your shovel blade, which I know Rodney has never done. Second, you need a strategy about where you put the dirt. So much of his was just sliding back inside. That’s very counter-productive…”
     Anthony never did dig a hole. He was tempted and considered it for weeks, but he knew he had to be the more mature neighbor and avoid succumbing to such childish competition. After all, he didn’t want to embarrass Rodney with a hole that would obviously be much better.
     He did have trouble sleeping for the next several months.

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