Weekly Shorts

Story of the Week

The title of this week’s story is …

A Pebble In the Hand

By Dian Bowers

Photo by Ir Solyanaya on Pexels.com

There once was a little boy named Jamie. Jamie was seven years old and had blond curly hair and sharp blue eyes. He had recently become an orphan and was carrying the heavy burden of identity on his back, even if he was too young to know it. Jamie was placed with his Grandparents. He knew them as visitors on bright summer afternoons. They brought him gifts and cookies. They seemed nice enough but he was guarded in his release of affection for them. It was all very normal under the circumstances.

          The day he arrived at his Grandparent’s home it was raining. Not a good start for a little traveler. He had a frown on his face and refused to talk.  Again, it was normal under the circumstances the children’s aid worker said.  His Grandma tried to hug him and fuss over him but Jamie wasn’t buying into it. Grandpa pulled Grandma aside and suggested that she leave it up to him. Reluctantly she did just that.

          Grandpa help Jamie empty his clothes into the dresser and helped put all his stuffed animals on his bed. In one of the suitcases, Grandpa found a little box and before he could open it Jamie grabbed it and held it to his chest.

          “Fair ball.” grandpa said. “When you are ready to show me I will love to see what is inside the box.”

 Jamie nodded his head. After a few days, Grandpa had a good idea of what was in the box. While walking to the park grandpa could hear little clicking sounds coming from Jamie’s pocket. Grandma found to her surprise small pebbles in the washing machine.  She gave them to Grandpa since Jamie was still not talking to her.  Grandpa placed them on the bureau and noticed that they were gone the next time he entered the room.

          “Jamie “Grandpa called. “Come and see what I have in my garage.”

Jamie was cautious because Grandpa did not keep his car in the building. What could be behind the big doors?  To Jamie’s surprise, the walls were covered in boxes. They were filled with screws and nails. There were nuts and bolts of all sizes.  Jaime’s eyes were open wide.

          “I need a bigger box, Grandpa,” he said.

Grandpa found one that was empty for him. Jamie immediately ran into the house and past Grandma and disappeared into his room closing the door behind him.

          “Well, what was that all about,” Grandma said.

 “He is going to be just fine,”  Grandpa said.

That night Jamie brought his box of smooth tiny pebbles and proudly showed them to Grandpa.  Grandpa whispered to Jamie that grandma is an expert on stones and if he wanted to know what they were made of she could tell him. Grandma pretended not to hear the conversation. When she looked up Jamie was in front of her beaming as he held his larger box of pebbles in his hands. Grandma made a fuss over them and Jamie began to tell her about how smooth they felt and how they all looked different.

The conversation had started and the small family spent years finding, identifying, and hoarding the pebbles. One day when Jamie was all grown up and was building his own home he used the pebbles on the foyer floor. Now cemented in, each pebble was a reminder that they had been touched by loving hands. Jamie couldn’t think of a better way to welcome people to his home.

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