Omniscience


My train had made a stop
At this one-horse little town,
With at least an hour to kill
I thought I’d look around.

I asked a local citizen
Who was standing there by me,
If the town had an attraction
Anything that I could see.

He said there wasn’t much about
But he might have one suggestion,
There’s an Indian down on Main Street
Who can answer any question.

Well with nothing else to do
I would go and test his skill,
I had a need to stretch
And I had the time to kill.

I found him on the corner
On a bench beneath a tree.
His face was old and wrinkled
He didn’t look so smart to me.

The man had said, “one question”,
He would answer with one word
But before I gave it thought
I asked a question so absurd.

I was thinking about breakfast
On the train we’d eaten late,
It was stupid but I asked
If he knew just what I ate.

He slowly looked at me
From my head down to my legs
Then as he stood to walk away
I heard him mumble, “Eggs.”

Now did he really know
Or was it just a lucky try?
Then while passing by a mirror
I saw egg spots on my tie.

I should’ve gone back then
But it had begun to rain
And if I didn’t hurry
I was going to miss my train.

For seven years it bugged me
How I’d shown my lack of knowledge.
Next time I asked a question
He would know I’d been to college.

So I went by train again
And the town still looked the same.
I would go and find that Indian
That’s the reason why I came.

Friends had helped me with my research
And I studied each suggestion.
Seven years of effort spent
Now I had the perfect question.

And then I saw the Indian
Sitting there beneath the tree.
I knew if he knew everything
Then he’d remember me.

How omniscient was this Indian
I was going to find out now.
I’d greet in his tradition
I raised my hand and I said, “HOW”.

When he returned my greeting
I knew they hadn’t lied,
‘Cause with a little grin
He looked at me and he said, “Fried”.


Omniscience, is there any such thing? Even God is not sure of some things and has to come down to Earth to check them out for himself, as is evident in Genesis 18:21.

The fact that the old Indian really was omniscient was what made the story funny. Don’t accuse me of racial stereotyping; I could have used a Japanese man but ‘konichi wa’ just didn’t work.

If people spent as much time trying to prove someone right as they sometimes do trying to prove them wrong, the world would be a much better place. And, by the way, that’s the moral of the story.

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