Excerpt from the Story My Father Goes to Court
Finally, he said, “I should like to cross-examine the complainant.” “Proceed.””Do you claim that we stole the spirit of your wealth and became a laughing familywhile yours became morose and sad?Father said. “Yes.” “Do you claim that we stolethe spirit of your food by hanging outside your windows when your servants cookedit?” Father said. “Yes.” “Then we are going to pay you right now,” Father said. Hewalked over to where we children were sitting on the bench and took my straw hatoff my lap and began filling it up with centavo pieces that he took out of his pockets.He went to Mother, who added a fistful of silver coins. My brothers threw in theirsmall change. “May I walk to the room across the hall and stay there for a fewminutes, Judge?” Father said. “As you wish.” “Thank you,” father said. He strodeinto the other room with the hat in his hands. It was almost full of coins.The doors of both rooms were wide open. “Are you ready?” Father called.”Proceed,” the judge said. The sweet tinkle of the coins carried beautifully in thecourtroom. The spectators turned their faces toward the sound with wonder. Fathercame back and stood before the complaint. “Did you hear it?” he asked. “Hearwhat?” the man asked. “The spirit of the money when I shook this hat?” he asked.Yes.” “Then you are paid,” Father said. The rich man opened his mouth to speakand fell to the floor without a sound.The lawyer rushed to his aid. The judge pounded his gravel. “Case dismissed,”he said. Father strutted around the courtroom the judge even came down from hishighchair to shake hands with him. “By the way,” he whispered, “I had an unclewho died laughing.” “You like to hear my family laugh, Judge?” Father asked? Whynot?” “Did you hear that children?” father said. My sisters started it. The rest of usfollowed them soon the spectators were laughing with us, holding their belies andbending over the chairs. And the laughter of the judge was the loudest of all.Reflection:1. What was the rich man’s accusation against the father?2. What could be the reason why father filled his hat with coins?3. Do you think what the poor father did in paying the rich family was acceptable?Why or why not?4. What lesson can you learn from the story?5. If you were given a chance to change the title of the story, what would it be andwhy?