A Typical Child's Drawing

It's amazing isn't it? How one person can look at a stone and see it as an inanimate object to be flung out of the way, while another person can look at the same stone, and see the perfect finishing touch to the border around their garden....or the way some people are enchanted by the sunset, while others pass it by without a backward glance. It's strange how things change depending on how one perceives them...

Jack was working in his fields as usual. He always got up before the sun rose and worked long after the sun set. He had promised himself that he would make his farm successful, and now that Jack had a wife and son, he redoubled his efforts. He had even forgotten that it was his birthday. There was one person, however, who hadn't forgotten...

Little Bobby, Jack's 4 year old son, had spent the better part of the past three days drawing a picture of his father working on the farm. He had thrown away countless sheets of paper and erased and redrew the picture hundreds of times before completing the picture he held in his tiny little hand now as he toddled toward his father in the fields.

When Jack looked up and saw his son standing before him, he was slightly startled, but then he became annoyed. Where was his mother? He didn't have time to look after Bobby now. He had already wasted enough precious time. However, Bobby now held the picture up to his father shyly, as though he was struggling to keep himself from snatching back his hand and dashing into the house. Jack took the picture. It was a typical child's drawing. Jack looked at it for a moment, and then put it carelessly on top of the pile of dirt next to him. He then hastily went back to work. For a moment, Jack thought he could feel his son staring at him, and caught his frame still standing in the same spot out of the corner of his eye...but when he glanced up, little Bobby had wandered back into the house, and his father returned to work.

Later on, Jack was walking to Jeff's to buy more seeds, when he noticed the mailman stopped at Barley's farm. Jack went over to see if he could get his mail as well. The mailman informed him that there was nothing for him that day and left. Jack turned to go as well, but then he noticed May standing in Barley's yard. He realized the mailman must have given her Barley's mail. Although Jack was in a hurry, he didn't leave, however. Something about May's appearance made him pause. Something made him stop and take a closer look at the small child in front of him. She was standing perfectly still, staring in front of her. Jack leaned in closer and noticed she had a letter in her hand marked "return to sender." May hadn't taken notice of Jack at all. Mechanically, she opened the envelope and into her hand fell a picture...a typical child's drawing. This one, however, was of a woman. He wasn't sure why, but he couldn't stop staring at May, at her frame, at her staring eyes...then suddenly it hit him. He remembered. He saw a similar frame and a similar pair of staring eyes. A heart-broken look...and suddenly the seeds were forgotten. The path to Jeff's was abandoned and Jack was walking, almost running back to his farm...

It's amazing, isn't it? How an object can mean the world to one person and be a nuisance to another... It's strange how things change depending on how one perceives them...

By Zinovia H. Hatzipetros