Thankful For Spilled Milk
By Burton Voss
My dad once told me the story of a widow and some townsfolk children in a small, west Texas town.
In the late ‘30’s, none of the farmers in this small town had an extra nickel to their name. Everyone—from the youngest to the oldest—had assigned chores and farming the unirrigated land for a living required a lifelong commitment to hard work.
The woman—a merchant’s widow—lived in town in a well-kept house with a few of the finer things in life most folks in the area couldn’t afford. On occasion, she would invite five or six of the local children to Sunday dinner, following church service.
It was an honor for the children to be invited—for they would have the opportunity to sit at a fine table with a linen tablecloth and a full set of silverware at each place setting—and, of course, there was always desert!
Ironically, once invited, they would become nervous to the point of anxiety. Placed in such finery was also to invite ridicule for their awkward social graces, and so they devised a plan to overcome their fears. They would draw straws, and the short straw would “accidentally” knock over his or her glass of milk. Nothing they did after that could be worse than making a mess on such an elegant table setting, and with the attention on the scapegoat, the others could then relax.
It’s not surprising however—in such a small town—the widow soon learned of the plan.
At their next meal, after the blessing, the widow reached out and nonchalantly knocked over her own glass of milk, sending a pool washing half-way down the table.
“Now then,” she said with a wise smile on her lips, “we can all relax and enjoy the meal.”
Read more from Burton at www.burtonvoss.com