Dad Held The Rope

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Shared by David O. Mckay

A party of English botanists... spent their vacation in the Swiss Alps collecting specimens of rare flowers. They started out one morning from a small village and after a several hours' climb came to a precipice overlooking a green valley dotted with a peculiar flower, which, examined through field glasses proved to be of unusual value.  From the cliff on which the party was standing, to the valley was a sheer drop of several hundred feet.  To descend would be impossible, and to reach the valley from another approach would mean a waste of several hours.

During the latter part of their climb a small boy had attached himself to the party and had watched with interest the maneuvers of the botanists.  After discussing the situation for several minutes, one of the party turned to the boy and said, "Young fellow, if you will let us tie a rope around your waist and lower you over this cliff so that you can dig up one of those plants for us, and let us pull you back up, without harming the plant, we will give you five pounds."

The boy looked dazed for an instant, then ran off, apparently frightened at the prospect of being lowered over the cliff by a rope.  But within a short time he returned, bringing with him an old man, bent and gray, with hands gnarled and calloused by hard labor.  Upon reaching the party of botanists the boy turned to the man who had made the offer and said:

"Sir, this is my dad.  I'll go down in the valley if you'll let my dad hold the rope."