Luke and his family were in low spirits. There had been no rain for weeks. They did not have even one sake of corn to sell today at the marketplace. They had to sell the few vegetables that they had brought there. Luke had a brother, Antonio. Like the other boys, Antonio admired the bullfighters. It was their hob both to kill the bull and to entertain the crowd. Antonio wanted to be a valiant bullfighter himself someday. Luke’s father said with a smile. “The bullfighter is a great man.”
Luke had a different dream. He wanted to be an artist. Once, his father had seen him drawing and had become angry. “It will not help you to feed the family,” he had said. So Luke kept his dream to himself. He spoke very little for fear that others might laugh at him. He put all his feelings into the pictures that he drew in secret.
“Go and sell some peppers,” his mother told him one morning. Luke took the basket of peppers and set off for the market with her. That morning, the sun was already very hot. Still, Luke enjoyed walking up and down the busy street while his mother sold the peppers. The variety of things sold at the market made a picture in his mind.
On the way home, Luke could not wait to draw what he saw. That week, however, he had little time to draw. He needed to help out at the farm. The well had gone dry. Every morning in the week, Luke had to walk for miles to get water from a deeper well. In the afternoon, he chopped weeds in the cornfields. He did not mind the hard. While he worked, he thought about what he would draw.
Another week passed. Still there was no rain. “It’s no use going to the market tomorrow,” Luke’s mother said. “We have so few things to sell.” It was decided that Luke went to the market himself to sell some peppers while the rest of them stayed and worked in the fields. It was Luke’s first trip to the marketplace himself. That night, he could hardly contain his excitement. The next morning, he thought of a brilliant idea. Before setting off. Luke ran inside and took some sheets of paper from under his bed. He secretly hid them among the peppers. Soon, he found a spot in the noisy marketplace and spread his mat on the ground. He put the peppers on the mat and took out the sheets of paper. They were all the pictures that he had drawn. A short time later, a man asked him about his drawings. He gave Luke many copper coins. Before the end of the day, three more people bought Luke’s drawings. Each person told Luke how wonderful his drawings were. It was the most exciting day Luke had ever had. Before he left, he counted all the money. There was enough for him to buy food. There was even some money to take home.
When Luke arrived home, he gave the money that was left to his father. “What is this?” asked his father in surprise. You would not get so much money by selling those few peppers.” Shyly, Luke told him what he had done. His mother hugged him when she heard the story. His father walked over to him. He smiled at Luke as he often did when Antonio talked about becoming a bullfighter.
“My son Luke – always doing something for the family. This time we will do something for you. Here, my son. Here is the extra money.” His father put his arm around him. “Our artist must use it to buy himself more paper and pencils.”