There once was a man named Herman.
Herman collected socks.
He had socks in red and orange and they were plentiful in numbers.
His feet were never bare, at all times he wore several socks to show off his collection.
He wore socks on his feet; he wore socks on his ears.
He had tailors fashion clothing out of socks so he could further flaunt his massive collection.
Herman lived for socks, and if he had possessed friends they would have given him such.
Across the street from Herman was a sad, gloomy building.
A sad, gloomy building filled with as much cheer as orphanages can have.
As much cheer as orphanages filled with sockless orphans can have.
Which needless to say is not much, yet Herman wore his many socks everyday with pride.
He spent his days proving to the world and himself that he was better than the orphans, that he was rich, wealthy and important.
Yet Herman was just pretending it was all an act.
Underneath that cover he was hurting, he was hurting with pain as fresh and strong as lightening striking a tree.
Once at a young age Herman had been an orphan.
He knew what it felt like to be abandoned.
To be unwanted
To be miserable
And instead of making him empathetic he hardened his heart to the troubles of the world.
He hardened his heart to the cries of pain and sorrow he might have heard.
He concentrated on building his fortune up.
He focused on collecting his bounty.
Collecting the pieces and mending the gashes in his punctured heart.
He focused on spreading super glue on the cracks of his heart and spirit, on building a fortress around his personality.
After awhile he became lost.
He became sorrowful.
He regretted the walls he had made but it was too late to take them back.
They were too thick and he was not strong enough to climb over them alone.
One day as he was walking outside his house, showing off his socks, presenting his solid wall exterior and his emotionless face an orange sock blew off his ear.
Before he could react his sock had blown down the street and landed in a large icy puddle.
Herman stalked back inside to get another dry sock.
As he looked through his sock collection for a replacement he realized that, that sock was not just a sock.
It was what sparked his collection.
It was his faded orange sock from his orphanage days.
It was his last remaining reminder of his parents.
It was the only object he owned that connected him to the night when his parents were killed in a car crash.
For years Herman had collected socks trying to fill the empty spot in his heart where his parents used to be.
Instead he had lost sight of what mattered, he had lost sight of his purpose and that sock was reducing in to being just a sock.
And now it was gone, Herman ran frantically outside to the puddle, only to find the sock vanished.
Only to find a bitter empty puddle devoid of socks.
Herman walked slowly back to his house each step weighing him down with more and more misery.
And a tiny crack began to form in the barrier around his heart, as a small trickle of feelings made its way through.
With every step the fracture grew wider, and the trickle turned into a stream which increased to a river.
As he was almost home a small girl came running up and tugged on his trench (sock) coat.
Herman turned around quickly, and the young girl held up a faded and worn orange sock.
And with that any river that could make it through the wall stopped and an ocean burst out.
Washing away the wall, crumbling the bricks until all that was left was his heart, his emotions and love.
With the help of that little girl he was released from the prison he had built himself.
From that day on Herman trudged over to the orphanage with joy in his heart and talked to the kids, became their friend and passed out socks.
Herman became happier the more socks he gave out and he realized they had been weighing him down, that they had been a burden.
And so Herman lived his life. Lived it to its fullest and encouraged others to do the same. And from Herman we can learn much, for this is not just a story about a man obsessed with socks but a life lesson.