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The wooden bowl

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, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather’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 daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about grandfather,” 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 at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather’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 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 the bowl for you and mama to eat.” 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 soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day that building blocks are being laid for the child’s future.Let us all be wise builders and role models. Take care of yourself, … and those you love, … today, and everyday!


{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Wooden bowl August 18, 2015, 7:24 am

    Thanks for sharing beautiful and meaningful story. Probably I was in need something like this today…and you saw me the light! Thanks again

  • Armanix April 2, 2015, 2:45 am

    so wonderful

  • Anoop.K.Francis June 3, 2013, 2:08 pm

    I absorbed every words. Nicest and inspirational.

  • Joy April 30, 2013, 12:48 pm


  • Rcc July 4, 2012, 2:05 am

    Simply heart touching…

  • Arthur E. Day May 18, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Very heart warming.

  • Pawan January 12, 2012, 7:22 am

    Thanks for sharing beautiful and meaningful story. Probably I was in need something like this today…and you saw me the light! Thanks again

  • Reynan August 8, 2011, 7:57 pm

    This is a moral story of the maiden with the wooden bowl(Japanese folktale)?????????
    plsz answer me…….

  • Princess Conda July 14, 2011, 6:46 am

    Don’t look in the physical apperance but look in the inside goodness of a person/someone.

  • Menalish FDO March 23, 2011, 8:02 am

    superb moral, what you have been done to your parents that will be getting you from your child.

  • Mansi January 18, 2011, 8:29 am

    When a person becomes an adult, he forgets that his parents taught him everything. They are the ones who made us educated…and they are more than God. So, never let them be alone. Always be with them.

  • Anna July 26, 2010, 7:53 pm

    Awesome….very touching….kids are not less than a God..we think they are small but their every word has a very deep meaning..if we look at their intentions they can teach us alot..

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