The Artist

It started like this...

When I was a kid I drew a picture of a wonderful whale inside my mom's bible while Dad preached his Sunday sermon. She didn't find it for a while so a few Sundays later, I had time to create even better drawings inside her hymnal. Really cool lions and tigers, if I say so myself. And on the way home I drew cars on the back of Dad's car seat.

The trouble came when I drew on my grandmother's wedding picture. I thought her white dress in the middle of a black and white photo was downright boring. So, I colored it blue. By that time the whale and the lions and tigers and the cars were no longer secrets. Mother and Dad stood in serious conversation for a long time then my sentence was handed down to me. All of my color crayons, pencils and pens were gathered and put into a jar and placed on the highest shelf in the kitchen so that I could see them, but not use them. At five-years-old, that seemed like torture. The crayons stayed in the jar for several days, and I stood staring longingly at them each morning. My mother reminded me why they were there. I'd marked things up in all the wrong places.

Finally, after a few days, Dad came home from work carrying a huge roll of butcher paper and an old Sunday newspaper. He laughed as he and Mother took the giant tube of paper to the long hall and rolled it out the full length. Then he handed me a brand new box of 100 crayons and said, "Take these Sunday comics and draw copies of them all over that strip of paper. Don't stop until the whole roll is full - and don't ever draw in God's bible again, or in the hymnal or on the car seat, or on walls, or on anyone's pictures. I'll make sure you have a new roll of paper when this one is full.