Jackson was old and tired. It was enough now!

“Yes, it is time for others to take over. I want to sit in the sunshine and play with my grandchildren.”

All his working life, Jackson had built houses. All over the town of Sedie stood homes that he had built. He had been a fine builder too. People were happy with his work.

“Twenty years my house has stood,” people said. “Not a single crack. Not a tile off the roof even when the wind howls. Not a leak in the wildest storms!”

“Yes, and the fine craftsmanship inside! Every corner is a perfect ninety degrees. Every surface is smooth and straight. It is a pity he has no plans to carry on building.”

It was the mayor of Sedie, Mr Bright Autlewetse, who begged Jackson to take on just one more job.

“Please, Jackson? Just as a favour to me? Just one more house and I promise we will let you retire in peace.”

“No, I don’t want to,” said Jackson firmly. “I don’t care how much money you offer. I have had enough. I am weary.”

“Please,” begged Mayor Autlewetse. “Listen, I will give you a large budget. You can choose any bricks you like. You can choose the fanciest window frames and doors, the very best bathroom fixtures.”

Mayor Autlewetse was an old, old friend. So finally Jackson agreed. But his heart was not in his work, not this time.

He poured the concrete foundation but he had mixed the wrong quantities. The foundation began to show hairline cracks.

“Who cares?” said Jackson. He put up the walls. For the first time he didn’t use his spirit level. The walls were not straight; the corners were not right angles.

“Tough luck!” said Jackson. He mixed the cement for the window frames. The cement was not thick enough and the windows rattled loudly whenever the wind blew.

“Whatever!” said Jackson. And as for the roof tiles, there were gaps between them. Come the first storm, the floor would probably be flooded.

“Well, it serves Bright right! He should have listened,” said Jackson. “At least this thing is finished now. Time to sit in the sun.”

There was a phone call from the mayor a few days later. “Jackson. I need you to come to this house you have just built. Come right away please.”


When Jackson got to the house, many people were gathered there. They all clapped as he appeared. The mayor stood smiling at the front door. He held a key with a bright red ribbon on it.

“Jackson, all the years and years you have built houses for the people of Sedie. Now this is our gift to you. This, Jackson, is your very own house. I hope you will be happy living in it.”

The End


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