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An Artist and His Granddaughter
by David He

An old artist lives with his six-year-old granddaughter called Lily. She likes drawing. One day Lily drew a tree. He looked at it for several moments and said, “Lily, there is something wrong with your tree.”

“What is wrong with it?” Lily asked.

He reminded her that something was wrong with its branches. Lily seemed not to be able to understand him. Further, he said, “How can the branches grow bigger than the tree?”

“Why can’t the branches grow bigger than the trunk?” Lily asked. He replied that it would not be a tree.

Lily said, “But why did you call it tree?”

He kept silent.

Another time Lily drew a little rabbit. As soon as her grandfather saw it, he said, “Lily, you didn’t draw a perfect rabbit.” Lily asked why. He replied that there was no such thing as a red rabbit. However, she asked why there couldn’t be a red rabbit. He further asked, “Have you seen a red rabbit?” She asked him whether he thought red rabbits couldn't exist simply because he'd never seen one. The only answer he gave was that it couldn’t be called a rabbit, but Lily asked why he called it a rabbit if it wasn’t. He made no answer.

The next day Lily drew a horse. Seeing it, he told her that she didn’t draw the horse in a perfect way. Lily asked him why and he said, “Does a horse have wings?”

Lily said, “No, It doesn’t.” Then he asked why she drew two wings on the horse. Lily thought for a while and replied that she wished that the horse could grow wings. He then said, “It wouldn’t be called a horse.”

Lily seemed a little annoyed. “But why did you call it a horse if it isn’t?” He stood there still, not knowing what to say.

In her drawing class, Lily drew an old hen. She laid an egg, which looked much bigger than the hen itself. Her teacher had it sent to an International Children’s Exhibition. To her great joy, she won the first prize.

The artist said to himself, “How silly the judges are! There is no difference between them and children.”