Once in a small village in Lukulu
village in Africa near the river, there lived an orphan boy named Joseph. When
he was still very small, Joseph knew that life in the village was dreary and
hard. No one laughed. No one danced. But Joseph saw that all around him the
world danced. Fire danced near the village huts. Trees swayed in the wind.
Clouds danced in the sky. And then, one evening by the river, Joseph met an old
man with silver sandals who was indeed "dancing the waves." The old man swept
off his hat and bowed. "I am the Dancing Man," he said, "and I have a gift for
you." The gift was a pair of silver sandals, and before long Joseph began to
dance, taking the old man’s place. He danced from village to village and, as he
danced, people responded. An old woman gave him a flower, and Joseph danced
with the flower. He met a young child who was ill and in pain and, as he
danced, the young girl smiled. He met a farmer and saw him sowing seeds. As he
danced, the farmer danced as he sowed. Wherever Joseph danced, there was life
— until the day came when he was old.
Then one day Joseph looked up and saw standing by the river a young boy waiting
as long ago he had waited. The boy drew near. Joseph knew the words to say.
He swept off his hat and bowed. "I am the Dancing Man,” he said, "and I have a
gift for you.”