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In Ireland, a busload of miners was on their way home from the mines. It was a particularly cold day, windy, with just enough icy rain to make the road down the mountain especially dangerous. The miners were all ready for warm soup and a good mug of beer. The bus driver, however, was understandably nervous about the weather and the conditions under which he had to navigate the unwieldy bus on the ice in the wind. They were driving down a narrow road that wound around the hill, so that on one side was the sheer mountain face, on the other a drop into the valley.
As the driver came around a curve, some distance ahead of him, sitting in the middle of the road was a young boy, playing in the snow, his back to the bus. The bus driver had only a few seconds in which to make a decision what he must do. If he hit the breaks hard enough to avoid the child, he would send the bus into a skid in the ice, which would either land it over the cliff edge or into the rock wall, surely killing some if not all of the miners in his care. If he used the breaks only enough to slow and not skid, he would not be able to break in time to avoid hitting, and surely killing, the little boy. The bus driver had to decide.
As the bus came to a slow grinding halt, the bus driver leapt from the seat and went barrelling out the doors. Some of the miners followed after him. Several yards behind, in the snow, lay the body of the child. Dead. The bus driver had bent over the little limp form and turned it up, cradling it in his arms. The miners gathered round and removed their hats, all speechless.
The little boy was the bus driver’s son.
Author unknown. If anyone has a proprietary interest in this story please authenticate and I will be happy to credit, or remove, as the circumstances dictate.
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