BROOMCORN • by S. L. Bickley

Once there was an old woman renowned for her ability as a healer. A young man traveled many miles to seek from her a cure for the blindness in his right eye; he came by bus, for he could not see well enough to drive.

The woman sat him in a chair, knelt next to him, and was silent for a moment. Then she reached over and touched his eye, and instantly his vision was restored.

“How much should I pay you?” he asked.


“I would feel badly if I didn’t reward you in some way. May I take you out to dinner?”

“All right,” said the old woman, “but on one condition: if any question occurs to you, you must ask me.”

While they were eating, the young man suddenly asked: “What gives you your power?”

“I sweep my house three times a day,” said the woman. She paused. “Sometimes four.”

He raised an eyebrow. “How does that give you the ability to heal?”

“When my floors are clean, I never hesitate to kneel on them.”

Sara Bickley lives, writes, and attends college in Dayton, Ohio.

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