Michelangelo stepped back from the nearly finished and almost perfect statue of David and remarked: “Thanks to the magic of my chisel, I have created a work worthy of standing at the right hand of God himself.” And with a mighty laugh he set down the chisel on his workbench and left for the night, telling Renaldo—the lad who cleaned up the chips—to be sure to lock up when he was done.
All this time, Renaldo had been sweeping quietly in the corner, listening to the great artist and thinking to himself that it must be much more satisfying creating masterpieces than sweeping up marble chips and dust. So once Michelangelo’s footsteps had faded away, he crossed to the workbench, picked up the chisel and mallet, and started hammering away at a fresh block of marble.
Renaldo labored all night, but by the morning he had achieved very little. The block was a bit scarred on one face, and some of the scratches looked disturbingly like his father’s frown, but he was pretty sure that neither God nor Michelangelo would be impressed.
At that very moment, the great artist burst into the workshop, then stopped dead. Renaldo whirled and looked at Michelangelo. Michelangelo’s eyes narrowed as he looked at Renaldo’s block, then at Renaldo’s hand, which was still holding the chisel, and he said, “My lad, the pointy end goes down.”
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