Today’s Random Word is: changeling
Telesphore had always been an unusual child… even more unusual than his name. His Mom called him her “little changeling” and told him stories about faeries leaving him in place of a mortal boy. His Grandma, on his father’s side, was the only grandparent he ever knew. She took many opportunities to whisper, “God has very special plans for you.” in his ear. Both explanations came from his ability to predict the future.
The first inkling of his gift was his announcement that the family car had a “tummy ache” at the age of 3. He cried and gripped his own tummy as his parents packed for a road trip ignoring their little guy’s already emerging vivid imagination. When the fuel pump gave up 40 miles down the road stranding them and delaying their trip for days, Tel’s parents started paying attention to his predictions.
When he was 11, Tel asked about the origin of his name. It was only then that he was told about his great-grandfather Mearle Telesphore Jackson who had sacrificed himself to save his company in WWII. He had had a premonition of an ambush and betrayed his own position shouting out a warning. During the discussion, his mom claimed that Tel had inherited his “fortunetelling gift” from him.
Years later, Tel and his college wrestling team went on a Rocky Mountain hiking trip. Suddenly, a grizzly bear pounced on his teammate and began tearing at his flesh. Tel didn’t hesitate for a second jumping on the bear while grabbing its ears in an unselfish effort to help. The bear immediately turned its wrath on him, knocking him to the ground, tearing him up, and puncturing many of his limbs. Tel played dead until the bear wandered off leaving the two young men bleeding from critical wounds. Somehow, they managed to hike far enough back down the trail to receive help.
The next day, Tel was heralded a hero! His Mom, once relieved he would make it, asked him why he hadn’t foreseen the attack since the pattern of his premonitions had always been about events that would involve him directly.
He claimed to have wondered that too in the earliest moments of his recovery, while his life was in question. Then, Telesphore Merle Jackson gave her a most profound answer:
“Mom, I think my premonitions weren’t actually anything more than ‘lucky guesses’, or perhaps, they may have been subliminal messages from God. I happened to look up the definition for my name this morning. It means “puts others before himself”. It wasn’t a gift of foretelling the future that was most meaningful to my life after all, but the name Great Grandad and I share.”
I heard a about this real-life story of heroism yesterday and was so impressed that I wanted to weave it into a fictional tale.
Here’s the REAL Hero!