Once there lived a man among the hills who possessed a statue wrought by an ancient master. It lay at his door face downward and he was not mindful of it.
One day there passed by his house a man from the city, a man of knowledge, and seeing the statue he inquired of the owner if he would sell it.
The owner laughed and said, “And pray who would want to buy that dull and dirty stone?”
The man from the city said, “I will give you this piece of silver for it.”
And the other man was astonished and delighted.
The statue was removed to the city, upon the back of an elephant. And after many moons the man from the hills visited the city, and as he walked the streets he saw a crowd before a shop, and a man with a loud voice was crying, “Come ye in and behold the most beautiful, the most wonderful statue in all the world. Only two silver pieces to look upon this most marvelous work of a master.”
Thereupon the man from the hills paid two silver pieces and entered the shop to see the statue that he himself had sold for one piece of silver.
She exhaled softly, “I couldn’t imagine a life without children. Once, I even… Wait. Let’s see.”
She guided me toward the large tree on the corner near our house.
“This was late one night, when I couldn’t sleep.” She rubbed her hand over the bark as if unearthing an old treasure. “Ah. Still here.”
I leaned in. The word PLEASE had been carved into the side. Small crooked letters. You had to look carefully, but there it was. PLEASE.
“You and Roberta weren’t the only ones who carved,” she said, smiling.
“What is it?”
“For a child?”
“On a tree?”
“Trees spend all day looking up at God.”
I made a face.
“I know.” She lifted her hands in surrender. “You’re so corny, Mom.”
She touched the bark again, then made a small hmm sound. She seemed to be considering everything that happened since the afternoon I came into the world. I wondered how that sound would change if she knew the whole story.
“So,” she said, moving away, “now you know how badly someone wanted you, Charley. Children forget that sometimes. They think of themselves as a burden instead of a wish granted.” Continue reading “Book Excerpt: For One More Day by Mitch Albom”→