THE BAGPIPER

As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man.

He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a little used cemetery in the back country out of Dunedin.

My GPS was on the fritz, so not being familiar with the area, I got lost. Being a typical man, I didn’t stop for directions, and when I finally arrived I was an hour late.

The hearse was nowhere in sight so the funeral guy had evidently gone and there were only the grave diggers left.

They were eating lunch, and I felt really bad so I apologised to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and a fresh concrete vault lid was already in place.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.

I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man, and as I played “Amazing Grace”, the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together.

When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

Then, as I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

I’m still lost.

Apparently it’s a man thing.

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