Out of the Mouths of Babes….

Did you ever hear the tale of the Wooden Bowl? I guarantee you will remember it tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year – old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about father,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.”

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.

He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up. “The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

13 thoughts on “Out of the Mouths of Babes….

  1. Oh I’m reading all right. George sent it to me this morning, noting that he thought you were looking to move in….

    But it’s fine – remember those two wooden bowls that I retrieved from you last year? I’m keeping them safe and ready for you!

  2. I hadn’t heard this story before, it’s excellent. I must remember to look at things as though from a kid’s perception the next time I start to lose the rag!

  3. I try to imagine I am a child at the level of adults knees.

    Just imagine how awful that is with people talking way up there acting like the child doesn’t exist.

  4. WWW, I have decided to make use of my large collection of stories and share them on my Blog.

  5. Welcome Modified mummy,

    I am glad you enjoyed this story. I think we all need to keep a wooden bowl about to remeind us.

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