“If you fold one thousand paper cranes, the gods will grant you a wish,” Martin reminded himself.
He read about the ancient Japanese legend in an old copy of Reader’s Digest. He was neither Japanese nor was he folding origami cranes, but he hoped the gods wouldn’t mind. Martin’s fingers didn’t work so well, but he was once a master carpenter, so he put his own spin on the offering: one thousand wood ducks.
In his small workshop in the backyard shed, Martin shaped, glued, carved, sanded and painted 999 ducks. There were small ones and big ones, some with ornate feathers and others beautifully plain. All the ducks on the shelves watched as Martin finished the last layer of varnish on the very last duck.
After three-and-a-half years, Martin was finished. He wished his grandson could come visit and see them.
A few hours later, his doorbell rang.
Microfiction entry for 11.23.2020