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Simple Gifts

imageA widow had worked hard, sacrificing every comfort to raise her three sons and send them to college. Each of them had graduated with advanced degrees and went on to become very wealthy. One day, the three sons met to discuss their mother’s welfare. They had been looking after her, but they all agreed that they needed to do something special to thank her for the sacrifices she had made to secure their success.

Her oldest son built her a large mansion, fully furnished with all the most modern conveniences. The second son bought her a Rolls-Royce.

The third son was at a loss to find something he could add to these gifts. What else did she need? Finally, one night while watching television, he found it. There was a story on the news about a parrot in a monastery. The monks, after many years, had trained the parrot to recite the entire Bible. He could recite chapter and verse on command. It was perfect. His mother’s eyesight had failed to the point that she could no longer read her Bible, even with giant print.

He traveled to the monastery and asked to see this amazing parrot. One of the monks escorted him to the room where the parrot was kept. Testing the bird, he said, “Genesis 1:1.” Sure enough, the parrot recited the verse. “John 3:16,” he said. The parrot recited John 3:16. After testing the parrot with several passages, he was convinced.

“I’d like to buy him,” he said. “Who do I talk to?”

“Oh, we would never sell him,” the monk replied, “it took us many years to train him, and we’re really very attached to him. No, he’s not for sale.” He was determined, however, and price was no object. When he proposed that he would set up a trust that would generate enough income to fund the monastery indefinitely, it was an offer they could not refuse. The paperwork was done, the monks said goodbye to the parrot, and he was delivered to the old widow.

A few weeks later, when the three sons were able to coordinate their schedules, they went together to visit their mother. As they sat visiting, they asked her how she was getting along in her new surroundings.

Hesitantly, she replied, “Well, it’s all very nice, and I’m very thankful to you, but it’s just so much, and not very practical. I’m only one person, and now I have this big house to look after. It’s lovely, but it’s just too much.”

To her second son, she said, “I really appreciate the car, but I can’t drive anymore, and I have friends who pick me up for church and shopping. I really don’t go anywhere else. It seems like an awful waste to keep and insure an expensive car like that when it never gets used.”

Speaking to her third son, she continued, “I hope you’re not planning to give me anything extravagant. I am just thankful for the little, thoughtful things. That chicken you gave me was delicious.”

Posted 2019·06·07 by David Kjos
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