The Present

- by Joseph Bayly

What a beautiful package. Look, each side of the box is different.

This side is white, pure white. I've never seen a lovelier young woman than the one sketched on the white paper. So innocent, so fragile, yet strong - with a trace of sadness about her face. Her features are Jewish, I think.

Turn the box around. There, that side is deep blue, midnight blue. Shepherds and their sheep. What a peaceful scene.

I wonder why this side is so dark. Nothing but darkness. Put it on the bottom so it doesn't show. Rest the package on that side.

That's better. Isn't this side striking? I don't think I've seen a more gorgeous shade of purple. It's - well - regal, especially with those men on camels in the design. I wonder where they came from, where they're going.

This gets more interesting all the time.

Look at this pure gold side. Those are angels, aren't they? This is by far the richest side of the whole package.

But what a contrast. This red. You know, I never did like red, especially that shade. I wonder why whoever wrapped this package, whoever designed it, made one side that awful color.

Turn it away, turn the box so that terrible color is on the bottom and the dark side is at the back. There, that's much better; now the red doesn't show and the black side's turned away from view.

White, blue, gold, purple. I just enjoy sitting here looking at the beautiful package.

Aren't you going to open it?

Why - is there something inside?

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