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ALTERNATIVE


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ALTERNATIVE

Antonio was an Italian boy who loved music, but whenever he tried to sing the music that was in his heart, it came out so badly that all his friends laughed at him. Next to singing, the boy loved to hear the violin. He had a pocketknife he always carried with him and he would whittle all sorts of things with it. One day Antonio learned that the greatest violin maker in all Italy, the great Nicolo Amati, lived in his village! Antonio began to whittle a violin and worked for many hours on it. When finished, the boy walked to the house of Amati, who just happened to answer the door. The boy handed the master the small violin he had carved and said, "Sir--I love music, but cannot sing. I wish with all my heart I could learn to make violins." The great Amati smiled, looked at the small gift and said, "Beautifully done! You want to make violins? And so you shall! In time your violins will make the most beautiful music ever heard!" And so, Antonio Stradivari became the pupil of Nicolo Amati and in time made violins that equaled his master's. 

Bits & Pieces, January, 1990, p. 11.


During World War I a Protestant chaplain with the American troops in Italy became a friend of a local Roman Catholic priest. In time, the chaplain who moved on with his unit was killed. The priest heard of his death and asked military authorities if the chaplain could be buried in the cemetery behind his church. Permission was granted. But the priest ran into a problem with his own Catholic Church authorities. They were sympathetic, but they said they could not approve the burial of a non-Catholic in a Catholic cemetery. So the priest buried his friend just outside the cemetery fence. Years later, a war veteran who knew what had happened returned to Italy and visited the old priest. The first thing he did was ask to see the chaplain's grave. To his surprise, he found the grave inside the fence. "Ah," he said, "I see you got permission to move the body." "No," said the priest. "They told me where I couldn't bury the body. But nobody ever told me I couldn't move the fence." 

Bits & Pieces, November, 1989, p. 24.




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