When Barns Lean on Men

The barn leaned against the man. Its wood had been painted, but years of rain, sun and wind had all but removed it. Only up close, as the unconscious man was, could it be discerned and its color known. From afar the barn appeared that gray peculiar to weathered wood.

The gutter that ran along the east side of the barn’s roof had suffered where it pressed against the man’s head, just above his ear – an ear with an impressive crop of wiry, white hairs. It was was not bent simply bent, but curled under the eave. This was regrettable, but the alternative would have been for the barn to collapse completely.

The man had a beard, also wiry and white. More than a few of the whiskers were caught in the splinterd wood of barn wall. If one were to go inside the barn, one could see where some of the whiskers had wriggled though knot holes and gaps between boards.

It would probably not occur to this hypothetical observer that some of the hairs had not wriggled in as they were, but wriggled in more slowly, by growing.

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