I’m Fred. The law strengthens me, makes me white pine tall, and tough. People squeal, chatter, tear up my $15 tickets, dump them at my feet, throw them in my face, but the law holds my backbone straight in its fist. They got no right to fight with me. These tourists come to Lancaster to see our brick houses with wrap around porches, learn about our abolitionist Thaddeus Stephens, eat our pickles and shoo fly pie, play our pianos that we keep in public spots, find out about our people who signed the Declaration of Independence, watch our Amish. I ticket them. The law holds me when other jobs fell down on top of me. I believe in the law,
though today this wavy blonde haired woman came to me holding flowers and crying. “I got these for Mom,” she whimpered. “She’s in the emergency room. Don’t ticket me. Please.” “Sorry, m’aam,” I softly shook my head, “it’s the law. It’s only $15. You take good care.” Nodding, sniffling, she drove away. Along came this pastor with short dark hair, strong blue eyes, scowling mouth. “This meter was broken,” he softly said. “You ticketed me.” “Sorry, Father, it’s working now,” I said. “It’s the law.” He nodded, shrugged and answered, “I don’t mind paying the $15. But tell the maintenance people that this meter’s broken. Be generous. Be honest. Be fair.” “Yes, Father,” I nodded as he drove away. I’m a white pine bending in the wind. What’s the law? Who’s Fred?
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