The bracelet really was a fine piece of craftsmanship. A thin circle of pure beaten gold etched with intricately designed music notes and finely drawn roses, it was a symbol of the musical skill of its owner. Indeed, the bracelet was a treasure. An honor.
Sitting back in his armchair, Mr. Grasshopper admired the bracelet with a nostalgic eye. He’d received the treasure from his father, who, in turn, had received it from *his*
father. All three had been master musicians in the insect world and the bracelet had been passed down from father to eldest son the same way human parents passed down heirlooms to their children.
Well, almost in the same manner as a human family.
Traditionally, Mr. Grasshopper reflected, the bracelet was only given to the son who showed the greatest aptitude for music. While it was true that honor had been bestowed to him, Mr. Grasshopper had since reconciled himself to the fact that, having had no children, the bracelet’s tradition would end with him.
Looking up from the circle of gold in his hand, Mr. Grasshopper turned his eye to the small boy kneeling the carpet in order to have better access to the small coffee table. A slew of new crayons were spread over the glass table top and James was already working away at a fresh sheet of paper. Mr. Grasshopper couldn’t see just what the little boy was drawing, but the sight of the eager young artist made him smile fondly at James.
*So young and already he seems to enjoy the arts.*
Of course, whether or not James would pursue an artistic lifestyle or move onto something else entirely as he grew was entirely up to him, but Mr. Grasshopper had no doubts that James would excel at any path he chose; already the little boy had achieved so much.
*He is… a treasure of a child.*
A treasure. Yes, and did not a treasure deserve a treasure?
“Come here a moment, James. I’d like to show you something.”
At the sound of his friend’s voice, James’s head had snapped up like a puppet on a string. Upon being summoned, James immediately trotted over to the armchair with a contented smile, obviously pleased to be receiving attention. Leaning forward, Mr. Grasshopper laid a lower hand around James’s shoulders while still holding the gold bracelet in his upper right hand.
“Take a look at this, my boy.”
“Wow,” James breathed, obviously awed.
“Yes, that was my reaction when my father showed it to me.”
“You got it from your father, Mr. Grasshopper?”
“Indeed I did, James. This bracelet has been in my family for a long time. Each father passes it down to the son he feels earned it. In my family, this meant whoever was the best musician. Of course, that doesn’t always have to be the case.”
“No indeed. You see, James, I had, for a long time, believed that I would never give this bracelet to any child of mine. I was never fortunate enough to have children of my own until now.”
With a proud smile, Mr. Grasshopper pushed the thin circle of gold into James’s small hands and spoke the same words he himself had heard upon receiving the heirloom.
“That bracelet is yours now, James. Treasure it as I treasure you, my boy.” Mr. Grasshopper paused, then added,
The boy’s brown eyes were just as wide as his smile and shining as brightly as the circle of gold he now held. Drawing James close, Mr. Grasshopper couldn’t have been happier at the moment he hugged his child to him.
*You are my heirloom, James. And I couldn’t be happier to have you.*