Carmello and the Water Jars by Douglas E. Welch
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Carmello and the Water Jars
By Douglas E. Welch
Carmello lived and worked as a potter in the little village of Agira on the big island of Sicily.
The village sat high on a rocky mountain. All the water for drinking and cooking had to be gathered from springs in the valley far below. The villagers would place the water in large jars strapped to the backs of their donkeys and then walk back up the mountain to their homes.
It was a hot, dry summer. Many of the springs had stopped running. People needed more water but t here were not enough jars to hold all the water they needed.
The village leaders came to Carmello’s workshop.
“Carmello, we need more water jars or we will surely die of thirst,” said the villagers.
“Surely, I cannot make so many water jars in time,” said Carmello. “We would need hundreds to bring water to every house. I don’t think I can help you. We may all have to leave Agira and live in the valley closer to the springs.”
No one wanted to leave Agira. They loved their little village.
The Villagers begged, “Please Carmello, please, please try to help us. Our families have lived in Agira for thousands of years. We can’t leave now. It would break our hearts.”
Carmello knew there was no way he could make enough water jars before the village ran out of water completely. Even so, Carmello decided to try. He knew he must help his fellow villagers in any way he could. They had helped him so many times in the past.
“Bring me as much clay as you can and what little water is left, ” said Carmello. “I will start this minute. We have so little time left.”
The villagers gathered all the remaining water and brought it to Carmello’s shop. Men went to the valley to dig clay and bring it back up the mountain. The men worked hard, not drinking from their water jugs so that Carmello could use it for his work.
Inside the cool darkness of Carmello’s workshop the villagers could hear the spinning of his potter’s wheel and the slap of his hands against the clay.
Carmello worked all day. He worked as the sun went down. The villagers could still hear Carmello working as they lie in their beds that night. They villagers could not sleep. If Carmello couldn’t make enough water jars they would all have to leave their homes and the village they loved.
Carmello worked very hard. His hands hurt badly as he shaped each jar. The sweat fell from his face and became part of each jar he created. Carmello was so tired. He felt he could not go on much longer. He slowly raised his head from his work. On a shelf in the workshop Carmello’s eyes fell upon a statue of San Fillipo; a statue he had made with his own hands.
“Oh, San Filippo, you have always protected our village in the past. Please, please show me the way!”
Carmello, tired as he was, set to work once more. He started spinning his potter’s wheel once again.
As the morning sun rose over the village of Agira many townspeople made their way to Carmello’s workshop. Many had not slept at all that night. They tossed and turned in their beds fearing that they would have to leave Agira forever.
The scene outside Carmello’s shop caused everyone to stop and stare. No one could believe what they were seeing. All around Carmello’s workshop where stacked hundreds and hundreds of water jars, more than enough for everyone in town. They were so many jars that the villagers couldn’t get near the workshop itself.
Even more strange was the fact that each water jar bore a picture of San Filippo.
“How could Carmello have done all this work and still decorated them so beautifully,” wondered Marcello?
“There was not enough clay and water to make all these jars,” said Daniella.
Eventually, the villagers shook off there wonderment as they realized there was still much more work to be done. The jars had to be strapped to their donkeys, walked down to the valley, filled with water and then returned to each home.
The men started to carry the jars to their donkey, but they nearly dropped the jars in their amazement.
“The jars are full of water, ” shouted several men at once! The villagers cheered with joy at such good news.
“I don’t know how Carmello accomplished this amazing feat, ” said the Mayor, “but I shall congratulate him myself as soon as we can clear a path to his door.”
All the villagers, men, women and children began carrying water jars to their homes and shops, praising Carmello’s work with every step. After an hour or more a path was finally cleared to the door of Carmello’s workshop.
“Carmello,” the men cried! “Come out and receive our deep gratitude!” Carmello did not reply.
“Perhaps he is asleep after his hard labor,” said Serafino. “So much work would tire a hundred men.”
Not wanting to wake Carmello, the men opened the workshop door slowly and quietly. It took a moment for their eyes to adjust to the darkness. Carmello was no where to be found. The men looked throughout the small workshop. They checked in Carmello’s small house nearby. They even checked in the surrounding fields and hills.
The only sign of Carmello was the statue of San Filippo, the one Carmello himself had made. The statue sat on the stool next to the potter’s wheel. Carmello’s shirt was draped around the statue’s shoulders.
More information on Douglas E. Welch and Careers in New Media:
Previously in the Dog Days of Podcasting 2014:
What is the Dog Days of Podcasting?
“Essentially, it is a challenge to do a podcast for 30 days in a row.
In 2012 Kreg Steppe was looking to give himself a little push in regards to recording his own personal podcast since he wasn’t recording it very often. That turned into a challenge for himself to record a show everyday for 30 days believing that after 30 days it would turn into a habit. Once it was mentioned to Chuck Tomasi he took the challenge too and they decided it would be a great idea to record starting 30 days before Dragon*Con, culminating with the last episode where they would record it together when they saw each other there.”