One time, a young boy named Ned sat across from his grandfather in a park. It was on a Saturday. He could see his grandfather for doing well in school for the week, as he had many times before. All was going well. The two had their game going fine – pieces were about to be taken from the board, as usual. It was towards the end of August; Ned seemed to have the blues.
His grandfather looked over to him, thinking he would cheer him up. Ned knew he was going to talk and did not really have that much warning. He did not know what was going to be said. “So, has your mother taken you back-to-school shopping?” asked his grandfather. “I knew you were going to ask that!” said Ned, “Yes, she did. As usual, it was a most exciting day.”
“Did you accomplish any difficult feet or tricky, hard-to-do shenanigans?”
“Have you been speaking with my mother?”
“I have not spoken with her in over two weeks.”
“Are you telling the truth?”
“We went to the store and she said she only had a certain amount to spend on school supplies. I had a list to fulfill from school; it took about 55% of my spending limit up. I thought I was in the clear, the good little boy giving. I would easily get this over with, and my mother would be able to keep the rest of her decided amount.”
“So? What happened?”
The two both moved a piece on the board; Ned tried to plan a good exchange-attack and king-trap sequence.
“I saw it.”
“What did you see?”
“I had examined every pen and pencil, notepad and other inch of the store. It was near the register on the way out… a calligrapher’s ink and pen set, complete with a wooden storage box and seven interchangeable pen heads. It contained a black ink bottle as well as a bottle of dark indigo blue ink derived from a rare Australian fern.”
“Wow was right. I could have grabbed it and ran; they saw me see it, albeit.”
“What did you do?”
“I decided to let her decide. I said, ‘I will do anything you say. What must I do to have it?’ ‘You had better come up with a dandy chore list,’ she said. I had to think quick and hard… ‘What if I mow the neighbor’s yard every other Sunday afternoon for two months or four times?’ I pleaded. She balanced her checkbook and said it would be fine.”
“So you got the calligrapher’s set?”
“That I did, and I have already mowed Mr. Nabrowski’s yard one time, three times to go.”
“Have you written anything?”
“Yes, I wrote a 112 line poem about a dove who visited Shakespeare in spirit for conversation. I figured out the characters in pencil and then wrote the poem out with both black and blue ink, depending on the characters’ dialogue. The dove drinks a gentle trickle of his blood to come back to life, flies away.”
“Can I see it?”
“The poem, silly.”
“Do you enjoy mowing?”
Neds grandfather just looked at him.
“I am sorry, I plan to submit the poem to a contest hoping the penmanship can be noted. I will photocopy a copy of it for you.”
“What if I want to mow?”
“You know you are more than welcome to come and help me. Checkmate.”
Ned won the game. Ned’s mother pulled up. Ned got into the car. They drove away waving goodbye as always. Ned’s grandfather put the chess pieces up as always, in tears.