The Bagpiper's Tale

Let us now, bow our heads and reflect on the spirit of the season.

I offer,

*THE BAGPIPER’s TALE; a Personal Testimony*

As a bagpiper, I’m often called upon to play at weddings, military events, and funerals. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a grave side service for a homeless man. The man had no family or friends, so
the service was set at the county pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back woods.

I was not familiar with the backwoods and soon found myself lost. Being a typical man I didn’t stop to ask for directions. I finally arrived an hour late – the staff from the funeral home was long gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.

There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down. The vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know
what else to do, so I started to play….

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep.

They wept. I wept. We all wept together.

When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car.

Though my head hung low my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”
(H/T Reader Dick T)

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Geri Flynn

    Anchoress,
    Thank you for starting out my Monday morning with a good LOL. Wonderful story- humility is a necessary gift!

  • tomg51

    Thank You.
    Today will be a good day.

  • Maria

    Lovely. Until the head. When he credits himself.

  • Maria

    Lovely . Until the end. When he lauds himself.

  • Maria

    Correction: Lovely . Until the end. When he lauds himself.

  • http://primordialslack.blogspot.com Joan of Argghh!

    Oh, I love a good sucker-punchline!

    The literal pedant within my soul would love to consider that perhaps the poor homeless man was cremated and had his ashes committed down the porcelain urn. . .

  • Mimsy

    I felt a tug of dampness around my eyes, and then I had a good belly laugh! Thanks!

  • Myssi

    LOL! My family is from those Kentucky back woods. And I remember when they put running water in my Aunt Bertha’s home and the septic tank in the backyard.
    I can’t actually imagine anyone from that area not having friends to come to his or her funeral. Extreme poverty makes for close community.

  • http://disquis freelancer

    Thanks for the humor to start this day. Kentucky and funerals are something we have had experience with and this story was not all that hard to visualize. We attended a service this year for a Ky relative and the other families had a loud and near physical controversy over the disposal of the ashes. While it was infuriating at the time, we later saw the humor of the whole drama, unbelievable and insane as it was, and still laugh when reminded of it.

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  • Bob Devine

    That is absolutely great. You made my day. Thanks.

  • http://songstress7.typepad.com songstress7

    Ahahahaha…. Fantastic! Good laugh for a Monday, thanks for sharing! :D

  • RabbitWalker

    I’ve never heard this old, old joke using a bagpiper – usually it’s a preacher or priest.
    You didn’t think this actually happened did you?
    Yes, I am a buzzkill. (Sigh)

    [No, I think we all realized this was a joke. We're naive sometimes, but not completely foolish 'round here! :-) -admin]

  • RabbitWalker

    Covering for my presumption with bagpipe jokes:

    Q: Why do bagpipers walk when they play?
    A: To get away from the noise.

    Q. What’s the difference between a bagpipe and an onion?
    A. No one cries when you chop up an bagpipe.

    I keed, I keed. I love bagpipes to the core of my Gaelic soul.

  • cathyf

    Q: What’s the difference between bagpipes and a chainsaw?
    A: You can tune up a chainsaw.

  • F

    I think I busted a gut the punch line and laughter so took me by surprise. Great. I’m 5/8 Irish and I don’t like the pipes. I just did a funeral a couple weeks ago with one. The guy is a world champ so…darn it…I have to concede, he did a great job. I’ve heard enough of that screeching at funerals in the last 20 years to last an eternity. God better not allow those blasted things in heaven. They are fine at a g reat distance and effective and eerie but, banshees should not be allowed in a building.

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