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The Portrait


Once there was a father and son.
They were very close and enjoyed adding valuable art pieces to their collection.
Priceless works by Picasso, van Gogh, Monet and many others decorated the walls of their house.
The father looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector.
The son's trained eye and sharp business mind made his father smile with pride when they talked with art collectors around the world.


Winter approached.
The nation was at war, and the son left to defens his country.
After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram.
His beloved son was missing during the war.
The father waited for more news, fearing he would never see his son again.
Within days, his fears were confirmed.
His son had died while taking a fellow soldier to a doctor.
Shocked and lonely, the father faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with pain and sadness.
The joy of the season, a season that he and his son had so looked forward to, would visit his house no longer.


On Christmas morning, a knock onb the door woke up the depressed father.
As he warked to the door the masterpieces of art on the walles only reminded him that his son was not coming home.
As he opened the door, he saw a soldier with a large package in his hands.
he introduced himself to the father by saying,
“I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I in for a few moments? I have something to show you.”
When they began to taik, the soldier taiked about how the father's son had told everyone about his, not to mention his father's, love of art.
“I'm an artist,”said the soldier,“and I want to give you this.”
As the father unwrapped the package, a portrate of his son appeared.
Though most people would never think it the work of a genius, the painting showed his son's face in great detail.
The father was so moved that he thanked the soldier and promised to hang the picture above the fireplace.
A few hours later, after the soldier had left, the father started his task.
As he promised he hung the painting above the fireplace, pushing aside well-known great works of art.
And then, the man sat in his chair and sent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given.


During the following days and wooks, he realized that even though his son was no longer with him, his son's life would live on because of all the people he had met.
He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before he was shot.
As the stories of his sons courage continued to reach him, he became proud of his son and he did not feel so sad anymore.
The painting of his son soon became his most precious treasure.
He loved this painting much more than any other painting in the world.
He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.


The next spring, the father became ill and passed away.
Art collectors waited for the auction.
They did'nt know about the story of the man's only son.
According to the will of the father, all of the art works would be auctions on Christmas.
It was on that day that he had received his greatest gift.
The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's most spectacular paintings.
Their dreams would come true this day.
After they bought their new paintings, many would say, “I have the greatest collection.”


The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum's list.
It was the painting of the father's son.
The auctioneer asked for an opening bit.
The room was silent.
“Who will open the bidding with 100 dollars?”he asked.
Minute passed no one spoke.
From the back of the room somebody said,
“Who cares about that painting? It just a picture of his son. Let's forget it and go on to the other paintings.”
Other people also agreed.
“No, we have to sell this one first,”replied the auctioneer.
“Now, who will take the son?”
Finally, a friend of the father spoke.
“Will you take ten dollars for the painting? that's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it. I have ten dollars.”
“Will anyone go higher?”called the auctioneer.
After more silence, the auctioneer said,“Going…going…gone!”
The auctoneer hit the hammer on the table.
Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed,“Now we can get on with it and we can bit on these treasures!”
The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over.
No one could believe it.
Someone asked,“What do you mean it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of the old mans son. What about all the other paintings? there are millions of dollars of art here! Explain what's going on here!”
The auctioneer replied, “It's very simple. according to the will of the father, whoever takes the son…gets them all.”

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