nce upon a time, in far-off Italy, there was a little boy whose name was Robertino. He loved his grandfather very much. The little boy and the old man were good friends and spent much time together. Robertino loved to sit on his grandfather’s knee and listen, his brown eyes wide open, to the stories he told him. Grandfather was a wonderful storyteller. And oh, the stories he told! Fairy tales and exciting hunting stories, like the one in which grandfather himself had once caught an eagle. No matter how unreal the stories or the games they played were, the love between theses two was real.
Grandfather had come to live with Robertino’s parents when grandfather had died, three years before. Robertino’s mother did not understand the loneliness of the old man. Sometimes she was very impatient with him, especially on those days when his hands shook and he would drop what he was holding.
One night at diner, grandfather lifted his cup to drink his coffee but his poor old hands shook so much that the coffee spilled on the clean white table-cloth. The cup, falling from his hands, broke into many pieces. Robertino’s mother spoke angrily to the old man. Grandfather never said a word in reply, but only looked at her with sadness in his eyes. Robertino was also very unhappy. Poor and dear grandfather!
After that grandfather had to eat all alone at a little table in the kitchen. There was sadness in his eyes when he heard about this new arrangement and sadness in the gentle smile he gave his grandchild. As soon as Robertino finished his dinner he would run into the kitchen to be with the old man he loved so much. And the kitchen to be with the old man he loved so much. And the kitchen becomes a beautiful land where there was no pain and no sadness and where an old man and a little child could move about happily hand in hand.
As time went on, grandfather grew older and weaker, and his hand shook more and more. One night as he sat all alone in the kitchen, his hand shook and he drooped a of soup, and the cup broke into many pieces. Robertino’s parents rushed to the kitchen and saw the spilt soup on the clean floor.
Robertino was upset, for his mother spoke more angrily than she had ever done before, and said the only thing to do was to give the old man a wooden cup. She said, she didn’t want her dishes broken just because he had become so careless.
Suddenly the child went over to the fireplace where his mother had swept the pieces of the cup. Soon the seemed to be whole. Then he took a small piece of wood from the fireplace and began to chip it. He kept his eyes on the earthen cup as thought it were a model.
‘What are you making, Robertino?’ asked his mother fondly. ‘I’m making a wooden cup for you to have when you grow old,’ answer Robertino. Robertino’s mother and father were too ashamed to look into Robertino’s eyes. They took grandfather’s arm and led him back to the dining room, and stood near him and helped him as he ate.
From that time grandfather never ate all alone in the kitchen. He sat in his usual place, next to Robertino, in the dining room.
Robertino was happy again. His grandfather was loved and cared for. Robertino realized that his parents too were experiencing the true happing that loving kindness bring.