The Water Picture

Growing up on a North Carolina farm was hard years ago. Our friend always says his family had all of the necessities in the ’40s and ’50s, but none of the extras. For instance, there were very few pictures on the walls. Money had to be spent elsewhere.

His parents did without some of the extras to make sure their children had more. When he became an adult, he wanted to show his appreciation for what they had done. 

So, on special occasions like birthdays or Christmas, he tried to make sure his parents had special gifts. He would ask them what they wanted and make sure he bought whatever they asked for.

One year, he asked his mother what she would REALLY like to have. She said she really wanted a water picture. So, our friend drove to the nearest big town and began to look for a water picture. He went to several stores before he found exactly what he wanted.

The picture he found was a mountain scene. It had a waterfall cascading down the mountainside, into a pond. There were shadows and silhouettes in the pond. Around all the water was a large forest. The colors were all vibrant — almost intense. I could imagine the whole picture as our friend described it. I could almost feel the coolness of the water. This picture was such a beautiful and peaceful scene. Our friend knew his mother would be pleased.

It was a big picture. So, he wrapped it all carefully and went to give it to his mother.

Arriving there, he handed his mother the water picture. He noticed his mother seemed to have a puzzled look on her face.

After she unwrapped the water picture, she began to laugh and laugh. He wasn’t sure what was so funny. He thought the picture was beautiful!

When she finally quit laughing, his mother explained. She wanted a water PITCHER, not a water PICTURE.

The next day, he went and bought his mother a tree‑green colored pottery water pitcher.

To this day, the family still laughs. His father gave him the water PITCHER when his mother died. It is still one of his most treasured possessions!

Katie Martin, Danbury

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