Hardworking nineteen-year-old Arthur was devastated when his grandmother died, and confused that all she left him was an old rocking chair. However, Arthur discovers that Granny Esme has one last lesson to teach her grandsons.

“Come closer, my sweet boys. I haven’t much time left.”

Granny Esme’s voice was barely a whisper. Her hands shook when she reached for her grandsons, Luke and Arthur. The young men leaned in close to hear her.

“Look after each other.” Esme’s gaze was filled with love as she studied the boys. “This world can be harsh. You need to be clever and wise to get through life. You need to support each other.”

“Of course we will, Granny.” Tears trailed down Arthur’s cheeks. “We’re family, and we’ll always be there for each other.”

Esme smiled. Arthur was so sweet and kind. He didn’t see the selfish side of his brother, Luke, at all.

“And you, Luke?” Esme tipped her head to study Luke’s handsome face. “Will you always be there for your brother?”

Luke grinned, and Esme knew nothing he said next would be truthful. He’d always relied on his charm and good looks for everything, making him lazy and self-centered.

But the boys would eventually learn and better themselves. Esme had ensured it. The light through the window seemed to brighten then, expanding to fill her entire room. Esme smiled as her heart filled with peace. Her last act in life was to squeeze both boys’ hands.For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“The cheapest casket will do,” Luke said. “After all, Granny is gone now, and the last thing she’d care about is how fancy her coffin is. She’d rather we save the money.

Arthur frowned. He and Luke hadn’t seen eye to eye on anything since they arrived at the funeral home. Although he agreed, in principle, with Luke’s insistence that they save as much money as possible, Arthur still wanted Granny Esme to have a respectful funeral that honored her life.

“I have some money saved from mowing lawns and selling the tomatoes I grew last summer,” Arthur said.

“I was going to surprise Granny with a trip to the ocean, but now I’ll use it to give her something I know she would’ve liked for her funeral: a blue coffin.”

Luke rolled his eyes and shook his head but didn’t prevent Arthur from making the arrangements with the funeral director. With the last of his savings, Arthur also bought a spray of blue and white flowers for Granny’s casket.

After the ceremony, a few of Arthur and Luke’s relatives gave them money to help them now that Granny couldn’t support them anymore. Luke thanked them with a sad smile, but when they got into Luke’s car to drive home, he started counting the money.

“There’s almost two thousand dollars here.” Luke grinned and started stuffing the bills into his pockets. “Since I’m the oldest, I’ll take care of the money, okay Arthur?”

Arthur shrugged. All he could think about was Granny Esme and how much he missed her.For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

A few days later, Arthur and Luke were summoned to the lawyer’s office for the reading of Granny Esme’s will. While raising the brothers, Granny had always been fair, and Arthur expected her will to reflect that. He was wrong.

“To my grandson, Luke Anderson, I leave my house,” the lawyer read aloud. “And to my grandson, Arthur Anderson, I leave my antique mahogany rocking chair. I hope he will remember how much I loved him when he sits in it.”

Arthur’s jaw dropped. Luke got the house, but all Granny left him was her rocking chair? How could that be? He remembered all the times he’d discussed his dream of owning a farm with Granny. She’d told him she’d do everything she could to help him. Now, he had nothing.

‘Dearest Arthur, you didn’t honestly think your loving granny would leave you only a rocking chair, did you?’

“I am the oldest brother, so that makes sense.” Luke stood and shook hands with the lawyer. “Granny Esme was a wise lady.”

Outside, Luke laughed and clapped Arthur on the shoulder. “You’ve just learned a valuable lesson, bro.”

“I have?” Arthur frowned at his brother. He still didn’t understand why Granny had done this and hoped Luke would explain.

“You’ve learned that charisma is the thing that will carry you furthest in life.” Luke grinned. “All those times you helped Granny with chores, and all the labor you put into turning the backyard into a vegetable garden earned you nothing but a rocking chair. However, my charming personality got me a house.”

Arthur stared at his brother in hurt silence. How could he be so insensitive? It was like he didn’t even miss Granny at all.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Luke’s attitude only worsened when the brothers got home to Granny’s house.

“So, how long do you think it’ll take you to find your own place?” Luke asked.

“Are you kicking me out?” Arthur gaped at his brother. “Don’t you remember promising Granny that we’d always looked after each other?”

“Of course, and I’m not kicking you out.” Luke frowned. “But you need to become independent, and my girlfriend is pretty keen on living with me. I’m sure that’ll be uncomfortable for you. Maybe you could live in a shelter until you find your feet.”

Arthur clenched his fists. He couldn’t believe his brother would treat him this way! He glanced at the old wallpaper and worn wooden floors of the house they’d lived in since their parents died. Arthur wasn’t afraid of hard work and knew he could earn money for a place one day, but this was his home. The walls were filled with precious memories.

“On the other hand,” Luke continued, “this place could use some serious fixing up before Stacey moves in.”

“I’ll make you a deal, bro. Help me with the repairs, and you can live here rent-free until it’s done. What do you say?”

Arthur wanted to tell his brother to get lost, but he was in no position to take the moral high ground. Instead, he hung his head and agreed to Luke’s plan.

Arthur would never know that the moment he left the room, Luke started laughing. “I can always count on little brother to be a fool,” he said.For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Over the next week, Arthur worked hard to fix loose tiles in the bathroom, paint the hall, and replace the old linoleum in the kitchen. Luke helped a little at first, but soon he spent all his time watching TV while giving Arthur orders.

“You should clear out the attic, too,” Luke shouted to him one day. “You can get your inheritance down from there while you’re at it.”

Arthur thought he heard his brother chuckle as he pulled down the attic ladder, but he dismissed it as his imagination. Granny’s mahogany rocking chair was in one corner, covered in spider webs and dust. As Arthur dusted it off, he remembered the many afternoons when Granny told him stories of her youth while rocking on the porch.

“Just like Granny said, we must always look out for each other.”

“I will remember the love you shared with us every time I sit in this chair,” Arthur promised. “Luke might change this house completely, but I’ll always have you in my heart, Granny Esme.”

Arthur wiped the tears from his eyes and sat in the chair. His world had turned upside down since Granny died. Nothing made sense about Granny’s will, and he would soon be homeless because of it.

“Maybe Luke would let me live up here.” Arthur rocked back in the chair, and two things happened at once.

First, there was a loud clunk from the section of the roof above him. Next, dollar bills rained down on him like confetti.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“What the…” Arthur plucked one of the bills from his lap and examined it. Benjamin Franklin stared back at him. He reached for a few more notes that had fallen on him. They were all one hundred dollar bills.

Arthur looked up and found a trapdoor immediately above him. When he rose to examine it, he discovered a rope that attached the trapdoor handle to the rocking chair. He must’ve opened it when he rocked on the chair. He then peeped inside the secret storage space and gasped.

The small space was packed full of money bags! Propped up against the closest one was a letter. His name was on it, written in Granny’s beautiful cursive. Arthur removed the letter and opened it.

‘Dearest Arthur, you didn’t honestly think your loving granny would leave you only a rocking chair, did you?’ The letter started.

‘All of this money is for you, but you have to promise me one thing: You’ll never tell Luke about it.’

Arthur was confused by Granny’s insistence, but the letter explained that she knew Luke would be careless and waste the money. She also wrote that this was why he’d left Luke her house, so he’d always have a home, no matter what poor life decisions he might make.

Arthur pressed the letter to his heart. Tears streamed from his eyes, but he couldn’t stop laughing. Granny had saved his life one more time.For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Arthur didn’t say anything about the money when Luke kicked him out of the house a week later. He’d already put the money he found to good use and bought a small farm. He’d always dreamed of working the land, and now he could live that dream.

Over the following years, the produce from Arthur’s farm became well-known in the district. He sold fresh fruit and vegetables to local supermarkets and started selling preserves and pickles. Everyone knew ‘Esme’s Farm’ was the place to go for affordable, high-quality produce.

Every weekend, Arthur drove into town to pick up his young nieces and nephews. Luke and Stacey had married soon after moving in together and now had five children. Luke struggled to hold down a job, but Arthur brought them food from the farm when he fetched the children.

Arthur was determined to ensure his nieces and nephews wouldn’t learn Luke’s bad ways. He taught them how to work the land and care for the plants that would feed them. It made him very proud when they decided to revive the vegetable garden he’d created at home so many years ago.

Then Arthur met the love of his life. He’d traveled to a symposium to learn more about dairy farming since he wanted to expand his business and met Kaylee there. It was love at first sight. They spent a year in a long-distance relationship before getting married.For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Days after Kaylee gave birth to twin boys, Arthur received devastating news. He and Kaylee were in the middle of changing the twins’ diapers when the phone rang. It was late at night, and when Arthur saw who was calling, he knew it had to be bad news.

“Bro, the house is gone,” Luke said. “Gone. There was a fire…God, it spread so fast.”

“Is everyone okay?”

“Stacey and I got the kids out just in time, but now…” Luke sighed. “We have nowhere to go.”

“Yes, you do,” Arthur replied.

“My farm manager recently retired and went to live with his kids. You’ll need furniture, but the cottage is vacant, and you can move in anytime.”

Luke thanked his brother profusely. They arrived that same night, and the family was settling into the cottage by the end of the week.

“You’re a great brother for giving us a place to stay.” Luke slapped Arthur on the shoulder and gave him his signature grin. “Just like Granny said, we must always look out for each other.”

“Exactly.” Arthur returned his brother’s smile. “You’re lucky to have moved into a house that comes with a job. I’ll see you at four thirty on Monday morning to show you what tasks you need to complete for the day.”For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

What can we learn from this story?

  • Hard work will always bear fruit eventually. Sometimes it might be slow going, but every step you take toward your goal is progress.
  • A strong family looks after each other. Despite his brother’s selfishness, Arthur never turned his back on his family and was willing to help him when Luke lost everything.

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