The House-Painter
by Donald Fisher



One summer the house-painter froze in mid-stroke. The people who hired him were already annoyed that he was working too slowly. Now it seemed for certain that he would never finish. They had the idea of moving him, frozen paintbrush and all, to the front yard and to charge money to see him. It was unique; a man going about his day, suddenly freezing solid. And he inspired people to quit their jobs and do what they really wanted to do. The mailman left his job and wrote a novel. The garbageman stopped collecting trash and devoted all his time to his band. The gardener began to sculpt again. And the piano teacher decided to help the poor instead. And they were all secretly grateful to the frozen painter. Who looked beautiful in falling snow, trussed in holiday lights, the curled frozen paintbrush extended upward and ahead of him like a torch.





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