Days to be Thankful III


Thankful For Spilled Milk

By Burton Voss



My dad once told me the story of a widow and some townsfolk children in a small, west Texas town.


In the late ‘30’s, none of the farmers in this small town had an extra nickel to their name. Everyone—from the youngest to the oldest—had assigned chores and farming the unirrigated land for a living required a lifelong commitment to hard work.


The woman—a merchant’s widow—lived in town in a well-kept house with a few of the finer things in life most folks in the area couldn’t afford. On occasion, she would invite five or six of the local children to Sunday dinner, following church service.


It was an honor for the children to be invited—for they would have the opportunity to sit at a fine table with a linen tablecloth and a full set of silverware at each place setting—and, of course, there was always desert!


Ironically, once invited, they would become nervous to the point of anxiety. Placed in such finery was also to invite ridicule for their awkward social graces, and so they devised a plan to overcome their fears. They would draw straws, and the short straw would “accidentally” knock over his or her glass of milk. Nothing they did after that could be worse than making a mess on such an elegant table setting, and with the attention on the scapegoat, the others could then relax.


It’s not surprising however—in such a small town—the widow soon learned of the plan.


At their next meal, after the blessing, the widow reached out and nonchalantly knocked over her own glass of milk, sending a pool washing half-way down the table.


“Now then,” she said with a wise smile on her lips, “we can all relax and enjoy the meal.”


—Burton Voss is a contributing author in two of Little CAB Press’s anthologies: Not My Will in Christmas Story Collection Vol I and The Trike Ride in A Time To Blossom.

Read more from Burton at

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2 Responses to Days to be Thankful III

  1. Gerri Ward says:

    Hi Mr Voss (distant cousin):
    What an incredible story.. and gracious lady the merchant’s widow was!! Thank you sharing!

    This reminds me of myself with my own children, I would get upset when they spilled milk but yet when our oldest grandson did it… it was no big deal.. in fact, the grandson would get more upset than I did.. and of course, my own kids couldn’t understand it! The life of being a grandma is fantastic.. wish I had had my grandchildren first! ha.. no just kidding.. love them all.

    Best regards, cuz.
    Gerri Voss Ward

    • The Compass Press
      LittleCABpress says:

      Hello Gerri- Thanks for stopping by! Your comments are appreciated. I’m a grandma too and I often wonder why I used to get so upset about things my own kids did when they were young which seem to be no big deal now when my grandkids do the same. Like is funny that way I suppose! Perhaps as grandparents we’ve learned how fleeting youth is and to enjoy it a little more… 🙂

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