Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment—to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful. Most of the class might be considered to be from poor families, but still, many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student's art. And they were.
But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher's true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes. Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.
His abstract image captured the imagination of the other students. The teacher asked the class, "Whose hand could it be?" One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went—until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself. When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas' desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was.
The little boy looked away and murmured, "It's yours, teacher."
She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, "Take my hand, Douglas, we'll go outside." Or, "Let ...
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