Thursday, 29 April 2010

New Ways New Days

The son of a master thief asked his father to teach him the secrets of the trade. The old thief agreed and that night took his son to burglarize a large house. While the family was asleep, he silently led his young apprentice into a room that contained a clothes closet. The father told his son to go into the closet to pick out some clothes. When he did, his father quickly shut the door and locked him in. Then he went back outside, knocked loudly on the front door, thereby waking the family, and quickly slipped away before anyone saw him. Hours later, his son returned home, bedraggled and exhausted. "Father," he cried angrily, "Why did you lock me in that closet? If I hadn't been made desperate by my fear of getting caught, I never would have escaped. It took all my ingenuity to get out!" The old thief smiled. "Son, you have had your first lesson in the art of burglary."

Fingers had learned his “art” at the foot of a master. His father had been a thief almost all of his life and Fingers was now at that point where he was in prison for the first time. He could go out and return to his ways or make a change.

The clay, what became of it? In the next few weeks it became a horse tethered to a gypsy caravan made by another prisoner from bits of off takes of wood from the prison workshop. The caravan was all fitted out and even had little lights in it. The Clydesdale horse yoked to it was the finishing touches. The two prisoners gave it to me as a gift and it stood on the top landing windowsill of the manse and was commented on by all who saw it.

Fingers made many more marvellous sculptures and on leaving prison he continued to sculpt. His work sold and I saw it in more than one art exhibition. He turned his back on the sacred art of stealing and never returned to the prison life. He realised that there were better things that can be done with his talent.

The last I heard of him he was happily married with a family. One way and another I lost touch with him when he moved to USA to set up home there. I know this blog is read in the USA so if you are out there Fingers, get in touch would so love to hear how you are doing.

I have promised Jerry that I will devote one blog to the questions he asked in a comment yesterday tomorrow I will do that. I will introduce you to the “Doc.”

This Blog is linked to my other where I discuss the artwork used here:- Autumn Waterclour


  1. A most fabulous story of Fingers, Ralph. Your quiet wisdom has helped many and of this you should be proud (in a most humble way, of course). I for one am quite proud of getting to know such a fine and decent guy.

  2. Ralph, you have learned the art of anticipation and suspense! and Now I must learn it!!! I am looking forward to tomorrow!

  3. You helped change the course of a life and you still are...the ripple effect...just like mixing colors and making newer and deeper hues...all of us are enriching each other...