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For many years the young family lived in peace without concern for intrusions on their daily lives.
Then one day, the father's mother died leaving behind a frail old man who went to live with his son,
daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. At the beginning, the old man did not present too much
disruption to the life of the family. The father went to work each day. The mother cared for their son
and her father-in-law, making the necessary adjustment to their lives that were required by the
presence of the old man. The old man doted upon his grandson, spending long hours each day in play
and education of the little boy.

Then one day the old man's hands began to tremble, his eyesight became blurred, and his step often
faltered. The family had always eaten together at the table. But now 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.

Soon 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.

Their four-year-old son 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 little boy responded, "Oh, I am making
a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." Then the four-year-old smiled and
went back to work.

The words so struck the parents 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 became soiled.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on,
and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: A rainy day,
the elderly, lost luggage, and little children.

I've learned that making a
living is not the same thing as making a life.

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able
to throw something back sometimes.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.  But, if you focus on your family, your
friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

I've learned that people love the human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on
the back works really well.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn . . . Sue Chang-Wu

                                         
                ©2011 Su Chang-Wu [All Rights Reserved]
What a lovely story, Su Chang. No one can tell a fable quite like you. Always with such humanity,  
compassion and spirituality. It is wonderful to see that you have started writing short stories again.
You have given me the boost I needed to do the same. Thank God for Websites like LMI that offer
outlets for our imagination, enjoyment and writings. *****__Jean Ann Morgan.

Thank you for another wise story, Su Chang. In a world that is filled with uncertainty, unkindness, and
untruths it is a pleasure to read another one of your tales that impart so much wisdom.
The Wooden
Bow
l is certainly a smart fable that needs to be sent around the world. Please keep on writing and send
us many more. All the best, *****__Michelle Banda.

I like this short story very much. The wisdom imparted herein by Su Chang reminds me so much of
advice handed down to members of my family by my great uncle Jack, who traveled the world only to
come home with the mindset of a common, down-to-earth man. Thank you Su Chang for evoking a
pleasant memory of my uncle. ****__David W. Carpenter.

I liked it too. First, because of the wisdom it provides. Second, because of how it is written in the simple,
easy-to-read style of a truly gifted writer. I remain a big fan of your stories, Su Chang, and an even
bigger fan of your craft. Yes, please do provide us with more. *****__Captain Apple JACK.

While Su Chang always provides thoughtful messages for us, this short story is one of her best. For it
contains a  list of true axioms by which we can live better lives. Thank you Su Chang for keeping our
hearts and minds pure. *****__Barbara A. Sabo.
                                                    "The Wodden Boll"
                                                       By Su Chang-Wu
                                                                       
Sunday, January 30, 2011
                                                    
                   Rated "G" by the Author.
                                          A Husband and Wife Learn Humility From Their Son.