– By Nick Gurevich –
One cold winter night, there was a log and an old broken chair lying next to each other in a fireplace, burning. Since there was nothing else for them to do, they started to talk. Actually, it was the old chair that did most of the talking. He was burning fast and was afraid of not having enough time left to tell all he wanted to say.
The log, on the other hand, was burning rather slowly, and knowing he still had plenty of time, didn’t mind listening politely for a while to the old broken chair without saying too much himself.
“You probably wouldn’t believe me, the way I look now,” began the old broken chair, “but I was made of the most expensive wood by a very skillful artist. True, originally, when I was a yet untouched big block of wood, my master intended to make a beautiful bed out of me. But something went wrong. So next, he decided to make a nice, comfortable sofa.
Unfortunately, something went wrong again. It is not unusual, you know, even for a great master to make mistakes. Finally, when not too much wood was left, the only thing he could do was to make a chair. But what a good, solid chair I was, especially when I was new. Oh, you should have seen me when I was new! And the houses I spent my life in! They were real mansions, not like this miserable shack. I was always standing in the biggest room of the house, surrounded by other beautiful chairs and sofas. And the most beautiful ladies in the most gorgeous dresses would sit on us and have the most sophisticated conversations.
And we would silently listen to them. But at night when people left and the lights went out, we would exchange our impressions of the day and have our nice, quiet chat. Yes! This was the life! But enough about me. I’m afraid I’m turning into an old chatterbox. Ha, ha, ha! Old shattered box would be a more apt description. Anyway, I guess I should shut up and let you tell me something about yourself.”
“Oh, there is nothing much to tell,” replied the log. “I used to be a part of a tree in the forest. Then, one day lumberjacks came and cut down the tree. They sawed it into logs and I am one of them. We were brought to this house and stacked up outside until winter arrived. People started to put us, one by one, into a fireplace to burn. And now it is my turn. That’s all. As you can see, there is nothing interesting about me. Your life was much more exciting. But you didn’t finish your story, did you? You haven’t told me yet how you ended up in this house.” But the old broken chair couldn’t answer this question. He was already burnt out and turned into ashes.
“Yes,” said the log to himself, “I have to admit in comparison with mine, his was a very interesting life indeed. Yet, he ended up in the same fireplace as I did and is already gone, while I am still burning. Though, of course, I will be gone soon too.” He fell silent. It was getting cold in the room. And the night had drawn to a close.