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Publish-date-icon March 31, 2008
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Once upon a time a frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and a four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled and his step faltered. The family ate together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandpa's shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass often milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and his wife became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about grandpa!," 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, grandpa ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the family table. Since grandpa had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandpa's direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate 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 dinner, the father noticed his son playing with the tools and some wood on the floor. He asked the child, "What are you making?" And the boy answered, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and mum to eat your food from when you become old people." The chils smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandpa'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.

Quim Portet. 1st Batxillerat

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