Progress was the name of the small town in Mississippi where two brothers lived. They had a big house, a barn and a three legged dog. And, oh yes, they had a mom and dad and a front porch and a twin bicycles.

The reason why I say this, is because the story is not actually about all of this; except for on thing…. What would that be? They were twins and they obviously needed two bicycles.

It was July 14th, very warm, and I believe I will use the front porch in the story because they were sweating as they sat on on it drinking apple juice…. and here is the story line;

It was their 13th birthday! And they had been told by their father that they might each celebrate it with a gift of their choice.

One brother, we will call Easy, because that was actually his name, never had a problem with decisions.  He was born premature at four pounds. His temperament was that he is off and running at the drop of  a hat. He said, without hesitating: ” I wan’t the biggest Lego set ever made; motors, a robot system, touchscreen performance and a $200 gift card at Amazon.

Well, his father said that’s quite an order. “We’ll see; but forget the gift card.”

The other brother, born at full term, at 12 pounds, was called Wait… not because his mother didn’t want a big baby, but because he just “waited” until he was ready. He thought and thought about the gift. His father thought he would have to pry it out of him,

The next day he made only a modest request of  “a small, but very sharp, pocket knife”

His father, amazed, said ” Surely you can dream bigger than that!” Try again.

The plan was that he would pass on their desires to the many guests that arrived for the party that Saturday.

After the ice creme and cake, a huge pile of presents was revealed. Easy could not help but jump in and tear open gift after gift, soon knowing that every item on his list had been provided. Even the $ 200.00 gift certificate, was added by his father.

Wait went through the same process; there were many gifts, but his father had not told anyone about the measly pocket knife…. and had left their choices open. For him there was no knife.

However, at the last moment when the party began to break up.  Vision, a girl from his reading class, approached him with a small package. She smiled and said; “Something told me that you like to make things. See what you can do with this!”

It was the shiniest, sharpest, pearl-handled little knife he had ever seen. Wait gave her a big hug with the promise;'”You’ll be the very first to know’.

Actually, the days and years following is where the story takes shape. On the one hand Easy had watched the videos, read the instructions, and had started his projects and had finished a giant assemblage of technology. But it was all soon put away as outdated…. and was just “done”…….. then to be donated to Goodwill. He was left twiddling his thumbs.

On the other hand Wait’s little pocket knife, after years of use; looking a bit worn, but still sharp as a razor, actually found it’s place in a glass box on his fathers big beautifully carved walnut desk. It bore a brass plate inscribed “Who knew?”.

His folks did not see Wait as much as they would have liked, for he had progressed from whittler to crafting amazing furniture and figures out of rare woods… this moment when he was a recognized artist and sculptor, having just done a statue of Edison in the city center of a large city in the East.

On his last visit home, in the company of Vision, his wife of many years (you could have predicted it)  his greeting to his dad was; “How you doin’.. Still got my knife?” and, with a chuckle lifted it out of the case and kidded “Thought I might borrow it. a project just came up……..Still sharp?” As he drew his thumb across the blade.

His dad assured him; “You bet it is… I just sliced an apple with it,,,,tomorrow I’m thinkin” a pineapple. I’ll let you know when I am through with it”…..”maybe never”

Which leaves us to consider the lesson in this whole story;  which is,,,,,Guess who was ultimately “a chip off the old block?”

No really, it’s about patience, developing and using God’s gifts,  and learning from others…….. maybe even marrying the right person (well, that’s a stretch).

But now you know all that. Maybe even before?











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I am a retired great grandfather, father of four; a writer (long time blogger) and visual artist. And, most importantly,a believer in the power of God to change lives..

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