The Wooden Spoon

The old man sat by the fire on a small stool, slurping the stew out of his wooden bowl with a roughly carved spoon. The boy looked down at him from the dinner table, as he had so many times before.

“Father,” he said. “Why does Grandfather sit by the fire and not with us?”

His father looked up from his newspaper at the young boy. “It is because he messes so, Thomas.”

“And he has a wooden bowl and spoon because he is old, and his hands tremble?”

“Yes, my son.”

The boy pondered this a moment, and then said, “Father?”

“Hmmm?”

“I will carve you a wooden spoon, for when you too are old and no longer fit to sit at the table.”