Who gave me the
"Can I see my baby?" the happy new mother asked.
When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to
look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out
the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears.
Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance
that was marred. When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into
his mother's arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of
He blurted out the tragedy. "A boy, a big boy...called me a freak."
He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students,
he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent
for literature and music.
"But you might mingle with other young people," his mother reproved him, but
felt a kindness in her heart.
The boy's father had a session with the family physician... "Could nothing be
"I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured,"
the doctor decided. Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such
a sacrifice for a young man.
Two years went by. One day, his father said to the son, "You're going to the
hospital, son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But
it's a secret."
The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents
blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs.
Later he married and entered the diplomatic service. One day, he asked his
father, "Who gave me the ears? Who gave me so much? I could never do enough for
him or her."
"I do not believe you could," said the father, "but the agreement was that
you are not to know...not yet."
The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come. One of the
darkest days that ever pass through a son. He stood with his father over his
mother's casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised
the thick, reddish brown hair to reveal the mother had no outer ears.
"Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut," his father
whispered gently, "and nobody ever thought mother less beautiful, did they?"