The Child Prodigy

AtoZ Challenge...Letter P's fiction from forgotten fotos
...continued from Letters N-O...Naturalization Papers and the Orphaned Boy

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the conductor for this evenings performance of La Boheme, Henry Schurtz Thorensen".

As our son turned to the audience and acknowledged the introduction, I turned to his mother and said, "Look, Hilda, our Henry has fulfilled his destiny." 

Henry raised his baton and with a subtle motion to the 'Strings', the violins opening chords filled the Metropolitan Opera House.  Tears filled my eyes and I was transported back to the time I first heard these opening strains of La Boheme....

....he stood on the chair, violin tucked under his chin and drew the bow across the strings.  The Missionary Office was packed with displaced immigrants seeking their way to become a part of America's promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Every man, woman and child stood in awe of the child on the chair as he performed the opera.  I was among them.  I was to be this childs father.

After weeks of searching, no relatives were found and no one came forward to claim the Orphaned Boy.  For days after discovering his dead mother in my Naturalization Office, I could not get the boy out of my mind, or the idea that we had missed some identifying clue on his papers.  The overlooked number on his citizenship papers was finally traced to his mother's application which revealed his last name and her immigration history.

The immigrant crowd burst into applause as the music came to an end.  I took Henry by the hand and we walked away as father and son.  Through the years, Henry continued to perform a repertoire of operatic music beyond the grasp of a child. 

It was after his use of English improved we learned that his grandfather from the old country had given him the violin. "Mama's papa made violins.  My Papa played the violin at a big concert house". 

It was not until Henry entered Julliard, that his violin was taken to a violin specialist for tuning.  It was there that Henry's natural parents and grandparents gifts and legacy were fully understood.

The 'Old Violin' found in his Mama's bag...the one tucked beneath a small boy's chin...the one that brought crowds of people to tears...the one played by a small boy standing in a chair...was a...


  1. Oh, this was excellent! I could almost hear the strings.

    What a neat story.

  2. Good -- I'm glad the little boy was put in the care of someone who recognized his gift. (even if it's not true LOL)

    Wendy at Jollett Etc.

  3. What a beautiful story, and I love how the old pictures lend to this tale.

  4. The old photos made me feel as if this was a real story, and after reading it, I was reminded that this is fiction.

    It' s a beautiful story.

    Thank you for your kind comments in my blog.


  5. Hi Sue - you certainly bring the feel of the times out - I've loved reading all of these ...

    Amazing story .. and I love the idea of the Violin .. music kept those talented persons alive at horror periods of their lives.

    Love the man worrying about the little boy and then 'taking' him as his and encouraging his talents .. lovely - a great Easter story .. cheers Hilary

  6. Oh we knew Henry would be a gift to the world. Great story

  7. Your pieces just keep getting better. I loved this one.
    Liz at Bead Contagion

  8. Wonderful wonderful story. You have a gift. I do genealogy, and I know there are stories ...some I can retail; but not with the flare you have with words. First read of the morning. Beautiful. Right you are on the 2 Sue's. Thank for checking it out and for solving my mystery. Connected with you over on FAG as well. Will send you an email with some follow up gen. questions.

    Happy Easter to you and yours

    Sandy at Traveling Suitcase

  9. Well told story and wonderful ending.


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