Peter stared at his finely trained musician’s hands, now covered with cow manure stuck with straw. He sighed and returned to shoveling the muck from the barn floor in Coventry. “A clean floor shows German pride,” his father had always said in the butcher shop.
Peter smiled, remembering the day he got his violin. His father, still wearing a bloody butcher’s apron, had found him in front of the radio, listening to Mozart while sitting precariously on the ball.
“Peter,” his father called, “I have something for you.”
“What is it, Papa?” Peter asked, reluctantly pulling himself away from the seduction of the concerto.
Henry held out a violin.
Peter stood up and stared at the instrument. “Is it for me?”
“Yes, Peter, you will be a great musician, someday. You are like me; we are good at whatever we set our minds to. We don’t let others tell us who we are.”
Peter reached out to touch the beautiful gift his father had given him, the gift of acceptance. He knew he had his father’s permission to be himself.
“Thank you, Papa,” he said. “I will try to make you proud like a football player.”
“You already have, Peter.”
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