The Old Man and His Grandson
There was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears
dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could hardly hold the
spoon, and spilt the broth upon the table-cloth or let it run out of his mouth. His son
and his son's wife were disgusted at this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in
the corner behind the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not
even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes full of tears.
Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell
to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed.
Then they bought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat.
They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years
old began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. What are you doing there,
asked the father. I am making a little trough, answered the child, for father and mother
to eat out of when I am big.
The man and his wife looked at each other for a while, and presently
began to cry. Then they took the old grandfather to the table, and henceforth always let
him eat with them, and likewise said nothing if he did spill a little of anything.