In memoriam: Threes and Fours.

This short story was shared at my grandfather’s memorial on Saturday.  As a St. Patrick’s Day baby, this had special meaning to me…  RIP Grandad.  Thank you for finding creativity in pretty much everything; my childhood was more interesting because of it.

Threes and Fours


Robert Berry

The old man ambled across the park, his wife of fifty-four years and another married couple with them. The women, chatting about their children and grand children, the men talking about the economy and their football team’s chances of going to the next year’s Super Bowl.

He casually bent down and picked a four-leaf clover, holding by the stem between his thumb and index finger of his left hand. Several yards later he spotted another four-leaf clover. Picking it he placed it next to the one he already held. At the back of his mind was the thought of making his wife a bouquet.

After repeating the maneuver several times, his friend’s wife asked him,

“How do you do that?”

“Do what?” he answered.

“Find so many four leaf clovers,” she said.

He paused a minute, then said, “Just don’t look at the threes.”

He started to turn away, then turned back. “I’ll show you what I mean.”

He spotted what looked like a four-leaf clover, but knew it was not. Moving the leaves of the plant he showed her how a three overlapped another three with just one of the hidden plant’s leaves showing making it look like four leaves on one plant.

A few steps further on he stopped again. “There is a four-leaf clover about eighteen inches from your left foot, “ he said. She looked for several minutes and then with a triumphant cry picked her first four-leaf clover.

As they strolled along, the old man thought that leading a happy life was like finding four leaf clovers. You concentrated on fours and ignored the threes.

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