While waiting in the Navel Hospital Pharmacy at Camp Pendleton, California, I told Ursula, also awaiting a prescription, the following story:
An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. "You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" a girl in the line said to the little fellow.
Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles," she said, while tracing her finger across the child's cheek. "Freckles are beautiful!"
The boy looked up, "Really?"
"Of course," said the grandmother. "Why, just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles."
The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma's face, and softly whispered, "Wrinkles."
Ursula then told me about when she was ten years old. She also was self-conscious about her freckles.
One clear night, her Cousin, Edgar, who was about two years older, took her outside to show her the magnificent carpet of stars covering the sky. He asked her if she thought the sky was pretty. When she said yes, he asked her if it would be as pretty if all the stars were gone. She said, "No." He then told her that her freckles were like the stars. Without them her face would be quite plain. Ursula felt better about her freckles. Edgar became her favorite Cousin.