A Tale of Three Knives

A Tale of Three Knives


Maybe we all have too much stuff, I know I have more than I deserve. 

Back in the mid 70’s, struggling to find something to give my Father for Christmas, I was at one of my local gun stores. I noticed a collectible bone handled Old Timers folding pocketknife in a display case. The old man had never carried a knife of any sort. When I saw this one, I thought it might make a nice gift… one he could cherish.

Christmas rolled around and I gave it to him. He always told us kids not to get him anything, but his eyes lit up when we ignored him and got him something anyway. Even a shirt in a box was appreciated. When he got the knife, his eyes lit up.

It disappeared in about a week and hasn’t been seen since. So much for heirlooms, but I remember the way his eyes lit up to this day.

Fast forward to the spring of 2010. My granddaughter, Maddie, was about 8 years old. We went to the Southpark Mall in Charlotte, N. C. to take my iMac to the Apple store for service. After I dropped it off, we ended up at Dick’s Sporting Goods. We wandered around looking at stuff and then she spied the Bear Gryllis Gerber folding knife. It was orange and multi bladed and she had a fit for it.

There’s nothing more dangerous than an unsupervised grandfather with a credit card and time on his hands. Of course, I bought it for her but, secretly, I figured it would be lost in no time. The kid was in the second grade after all. I caught the devil for buying a knife for an eight-year-old girl, but I couldn’t have cared less. The light in her eyes was plenty.

This year as we gathered to exchange gifts, Maddie brought out the knife I’d given her. It has been almost twelve years! I was thrilled that she could even find the thing, much less that she would bring it to cut the ribbons on presents.


When it came time to open my present from her, I told her that she shouldn’t have spent her limited money on me. Pretty sure she gave me the same look I’d given the old man. Then, when I opened the box, I understood why she brought her knife to Christmas.

I hope she will always remember the light in my eyes. Maybe we all have too much stuff, I know I have more than I will ever deserve.


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Ronnie Sowell
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Ronnie Sowell

I am a retired cop from a small town in South Carolina. I enjoy writing and am presently compiling a book of my short stories for publication.

5 thoughts on “A Tale of Three Knives

  • January 24, 2022 at 2:50 PM

    Well done, Ronnie…Both the telling of the story and the gift from your granddaughter who had remembered you giving her a special grown-up gift…a long time ago. That is very Awesome to be able to do something that enduring for your grandchild. “A Tale of Three Knives” is a great read!

  • January 29, 2022 at 10:30 AM

    What an enchanting account of your 3 knives, Ronnie! I love that your granddaughter has treasured her knife and looked after it, using it still. The best thing is that she realised how pleased you would be, not only that she still had it but that she gave you one too.
    I know what you mean about grandparents buying things for their grandchildren; I have 6 and they cost me a fortune sometimes, but I don’t care! They are all delightful.

  • January 29, 2022 at 4:30 PM

    This was an enjoyable read, Ronnie. The gifts of these knives display a special bond and created memories that will last forever.

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