Read,  Life


  Once upon a time, in the middle of a large desert, there was a very small railway station surrounded by barren sand beyond the horizon. On the other side of the desert are grasslands, and on the other side of the grasslands are valleys and mountains. The railway crosses these areas and stretches east-west, far, far, far into the boundless sky.
  This station is called “Desert Station”. There is only one house on the station, and three people live in it: Mr. Smith, the signalman, Mr. Jones, the porter, and Mr. Brown, the conductor.
  You may think that such a small station needs three people to look after it? But those who run the railroad know that if two people are put together alone, they will quarrel; That way they’ll all be happy.
  These three were happy enough without wives complaining about flying sand in the desert, or children pestering them with stories or riding on their shoulders. But they are not entirely happy, why is that?
  You see, every day, the huge train rumbles across the desert, from west to east, from east to west, getting bigger and bigger as it approaches the station, and getting bigger and bigger as it leaves. Small, but never stop. No one wants to get off in the desert.
  ”Well, if only I could use my semaphore once, if only for a little while,” said Mr. Smith sadly. “I oil the levers and polish the lamps every day, but for fifteen years I haven’t had the chance to pull them.” A lever once signaled the train to stop. It would break a man’s heart and make him sad!”
  ”Well, if only I could cut the ticket once, if only once,” sighed Mr. Brown. The ticket-cutters stay bright, but of what use? I haven’t had a chance to punch a hole with them in fifteen years. A man’s strength is rusted in this place.”
  ”Well, if only I could help carry someone’s luggage once, if only for a while,” lamented Mr. Jones. “In the city railway stations porters get rich off tips, but here you can expect to be rich.” I lift weights every morning, and I’m strong and supple. But in fifteen years I haven’t even been offered a hatbox. A man doesn’t have good luck here.”
  Besides, there was another One thing troubled the three of them–every Sunday, there was neither a train coming nor going–they had nothing to do, nowhere to go. It’s a thousand miles from one desert station to the next, and it takes a week’s salary to cover that distance. Also, even if you take the last train on Saturday night, you won’t have time to make it all the way to the movies and be back on Monday morning. So every Sunday, they just sit on the platform, yawning and hoping it’s Monday.
  One day, however, Mr. Jones counted the money he had saved and said, “My friends, your wishes are about to come true. I have saved enough money for a week’s vacation. Mr. Smith can signal the train to stop, and Mr. Brown can cut My ticket, I’m going to see the world, I’ll go as far as the train goes.”
  The other two were crazy with excitement. Mr. Smith spent the whole night oiling the levers of the signal lights, and Mr. Brown selected the thickest and squarest tickets and polished the ticket cutters. It was a great moment the next morning, when the big, proud train no longer rumbled through the desert station, but rumbled into the station for Mr. Jones alone.
  He loaded the luggage into the car himself, climbed into the car, waved goodbye to his friends, and yelled “Come back on Saturday,” and headed east. Three days later a passing train dropped them a postcard from Jones saying he would be back by the Saturday noon train. Two hours before the train was scheduled to arrive, Mr. Smith pulled the signal to “Stop”. He and Mr. Brown spent all their free time that week sitting under a cactus and discussing how Mr. Jones would describe his travels when he came back, and what presents he would bring them.
  As soon as the train stopped, Mr. Jones jumped from it. Mr. Brown carefully took his ticket, and Mr. Smith signaled the train to proceed. Then they made a pot of coffee and sat down to listen to the travelers’ stories.
  ”Boys!” he said, “it’s a big world! The train took me through so many countries that I can’t even remember. It ended up stopping in a city bigger than a desert. Oh, just that station.” It’s as big as a city. There are shops, theaters, hotels, and restaurants in the station. There’s even a circus, right inside the station. That’s why I don’t bother to go into the city, just stay inside the station I’m telling you, I’m having a great time. Here’s a gift from me.” He carefully took out his presents, and gave Mr. Smith a paperweight shaped like a skyscraper, and Brown A box, sir, with a majestic train station painted on the lid. They are both very happy.
  The next week, Mr. Smith counted his money and said, “You’re in luck again, boys. I’ve saved up enough money for my vacation, and I’m going to take a westbound train, and I’ll tell you how far it goes.” How far.”
  ”But who will take care of the lights?” objected Mr. Jones.
  ”Mr. Brown is in charge. I’ve been teaching him for a week.”
  Mr. Brown chose the best ticket for Mr. Smith again, and hurried to the signal light. Mr. Jones carried the case on to the train for Mr. Smith (Mr. Smith gave him a handsome tip). Mr. Smith climbed on the train and left.
  The next Saturday, he came back with eyes as bright as stars. As soon as the train left the station, they boiled a pot of coffee and sat down to listen to his stories.
  ”My God!” said Mr. Smith, “the world is bigger than I imagined! We passed through so many countries that we can’t remember half of them. But at the end of our trip, we crossed a group of high mountains as high as It was about to touch the moon. There were pines with leaves like needles on the mountain, and the snow was like salt. Then the train was rushing down the mountain. The sea stopped. Brothers, the sea is bigger than this desert! Here I bring you.”
  He gave Mr. Brown a pearl shell, and Mr. Jones a large shining white crystal stone. They both thought the gift was very beautiful.
  Then they began to discuss with Mr. Brown: “Where are you going to go on vacation?” Mr. Smith suggested: “Go to the mountains! Go to the mountains and go to the sea!” But Mr. Jones said: “No, go to the city! The city must be beautiful and charming Too much.” They bickered, yelling at each other.
  But Mr. Brown is a very quiet person. He thought for a long time before he said: “I don’t want to take that long train, I get motion sickness. Besides, you have been to those places and told me what it is like. I think Go somewhere else.” “But there’s nowhere else to go,” they said to him; “the railroad goes only two ways, east or west.”
  ”I’m going north,” said Mr Brown. He packed a small knapsack, some bread and cheese, and a bottle of beer.
  ”How can you go north?”
  ”Walk on my feet,” said Mr. Brown. Early Saturday morning he crossed the tracks and set off on foot.
  Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith watched his figure go straight away over the tan desert, getting smaller and smaller, disappearing into the distance. The dew fell on the sand, leaving his sharp and clear footprints. Then the sun rose high in the sky, and the footprints slowly crumbled and spread apart, like snow melting in the heat.
  ”Shall we see him again?” Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith asked each other.
  But in the evening, as the sun was setting, a small black spot appeared in the distance and drew nearer, until at last they saw clearly that it was Mr. Brown. His eyes were shining and he was smiling.
  ”How was it?” they asked as they made a pot of coffee and sat down to drink it. “Where have you been? What have you seen?”
  ”Boys,” said Mr. Later, I found an oasis with fresh spring water, green meadows, flowers, and orange and lemon trees. Look at the presents I have brought you.”
  He gave Mr. Jones a large juicy orange, and gave Mr Smith A bouquet of delicate green leaves and blue flowers.
  Don’t be surprised if you see desert stations empty on a Sunday. The three men must have walked for two hours, and were lying on the grass by the spring, listening to the birds singing. On the stop sign of the station, under the word “desert”, the words “to the oasis” have been added.

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