The Piano

One day Jean's parents took her to a piano concert. It was the first time she'd ever been to a live music concert and she was absolutely thrilled by the beauty of what she heard.

In fact Jean enjoyed the concert so much she started playing Nanny's old piano, though at first she wasn't very good. But her parents though music would be an excellent new hobby, so they found her a music teacher and she started taking lessons.

As Jean learned more, so she practiced more, and as she practiced more, so she became better and better. But Nanny's piano was very old and with so much use it began to break. Some of the keys would get stuck, while others didn't play at all.

One Saturday morning Jean and her friend Jill went into town on the bus. They noticed a grand piano outside the junk shop. Just for a laugh Jean started to play it. She played so well the owner came out to see who it was. Jean asked him how much the piano was. He pointed to a price tag of $100, but then told them that not many people wanted pianos any more, so he could let them have it for free if they could collect it.

Jean told Mum & Dad about the piano, and they said she could have it once she learned to play a new piece of music perfectly. Of course she practiced very hard, and in a few days the piece sounded wonderful, even on Nanny's old piano.

Dad hired a van and together they drove to the junk shop. Jean was delighted to find the grand piano still there.

They thanked the man, loaded it into the van and drove home. Soon the piano was brought into the sitting room and Jean began to play. Her music sounded better than ever, it was almost as though her teacher was sitting besides her guiding every note.

That night Jean felt so excited to have such a lovely piano she couldn't get to sleep. And then, as she lay there moving from one side to the other she thought she heard something. It was very quiet but it sounded like piano music, and it seemed to be coming form her piano!

She crept downstairs, and as she got closer to the sitting room so the sound got louder. It was her piano!

She stood at the closed door to the room, just listening. It was so beautiful she didn't feel one bit afraid. After a while, she simply had to open the door to see what was going on. But as soon as she touched the handle so the playing stopped.

She went into the room, but everything was still and dark. The windows were all shut tight, and there was no way anyone else could have gotten in or out of the room.

Puzzled, and now a little scared, she went back to bed. But Jean didn't sleep much that night.

In the morning Jean told Mum & Dad what happened. They both said she'd simply had a silly dream and told her to forget about it. But Jean knew it was no dream.

Later that morning she went over to Jill's house and told her the story. They both decided to return to the shop to see if the owner knew anything about the piano.

The shopkeeper immediately recognized the pair and asked how they were getting on with the piano. He was puzzled when he heard the story, and then went to check his record books.

The piano was sold to the shop by the friend of a man who recently passed away. The man's name was William Joseph Black. And that was all the shopkeeper could tell them.

Not much wiser they went home and looked on the Internet to see what they could find about William Joseph Black. What they found amazed them. It seems Mr Black was a very shy man who worked as a bus mechanic, but he happened to have the most marvelous gift for music. He'd changed his name to Black so he wouldn't be recognized as a descendant of Mozart!

Next Roger and the Picture