Story : The Grandfather’s Table and the Wooden Bowl


A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in- law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table, but the elderly grandfather’ s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in- law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about Grandfather, ” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” Therefore, the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.

There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather’ s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’ s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.


Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb.

If they see us patiently, provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child’s future. Let us be wise builders and role models.

7 thoughts on “Story : The Grandfather’s Table and the Wooden Bowl”

  1. This may be a touching story to some, I see it differently. I see a son and daughter in-law who were mean to someone older and less able to take care of themselves and did not come around until they saw that it could happen to them. Because it was convenient, they cast the old man aside. Fear of their future forced them to reconsider their actions, not a moral turnabout.

    There are three types of people; 1. Those that are never good , 2 Those that are only good around witnesses, and 3. Those that are always good, regardless of who is there or not. The couple in the story are type 2.

    The true character of any person is how they treat someone that can’t do anything for them and is weaker than them.

  2. There is 4th type of people. Those who were not born with all the wisdom they are going to need throughout their lives. I am one of those. It is a journey. everyday I hopefully grow. I look back at the foolish things I did a 20 and 30 years old and embarrassingly think; “I can not believe I thought that way”. Sometimes it takes our children to reflect ourselves to help us see our own mistakes. I believe that is what this author was demonstrating. I see a couple who were jolted by seeing their reflection in their child. They did not change their way because someone called adult protective services. They made the change because they grew. Roger, don’t be a pessimist all of your life. our going to miss a lot if you do. god Bless.

  3. The three types of people are not permanent and you can go from one type to the other during your life travels and experiences. The fourth type you mention is just someone transitioning from within the three types.

    I am not a total pessimist, but both an optimist and realist, I know what evil looks like and I know what goodness looks like. I look for the best in people, but I am ready for their worst.

    I am optimistic that my pessimism will help me get through life and will let me help the optimists who weren’t ready.

    Optimists believe in hope, yet hope to a pessimist is lack of planning, but it does exist and it is sometimes all we have left.

  4. From this story iv learnt that in life you have to make things work cuese nothing is perfect and iv learnt that there is people in need and we can help by encouraging them xx thanx

  5. People can be so mean, I like what the little boy said to his father. He showed them how stupid they were and how cruel they were being to their grandfather. What goes around comes around.

  6. Dear Georgy, Wonderful story of the grandfather and the child.Children become our teachers.How much God suffer because of us who forget him and abuse him by our sins and put him far apart from us.But God in his own kindness sent his only son,truly God and truly man like us to suffer,die and rise again to save us. But we, we still continue to go about in our own way as if nothing happened God is God, And we are deplorable human ad sinful.These thoughts swelled in my heart when I read the story of this grandfather and the child.Thank you and God may bless you +SMA. AB.EM

  7. Some people treat their families badly but I am lucky
    that I have a wonderful family who treat me with kindness and respect.They always keep in touch with me and I know I am loved by them all including my beautiful grandchildren. Thank you kids for listening to me sometimes when I am low, and when I talk too much when I am happy lots of love mum.A.J. and Nanaxx

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