Verna was very artistic. She dabbled in painting with water colours, although she wasn’t terribly good at it. She modelled pots and characters (mainly little piglets) out of clay, although she wasn’t terribly good at it. She composed little songs about life and its hassles, although she wasn’t terribly good at it.
What she was good at was the envy of all who knew her. She could take ordinary everyday things like rocks and pinecones and driftwood and seashells, and glue them together to make the most wonderful three-dimensional works of art. Verna was a natural. Her creations sold for hundreds – and hundreds. Verna made lots of them for sale, although not enough to glut the market. Too many would cheapen their value. She also taught night classes on how to creatively glue together stuff you had found, and although her students were enthusiastic, no one matched the artistic prowess of Verna.
Verna would also occasionally give her creations away as gifts. In fact, one week she gave two away to be sold; one to the Sisters of Divine Mercy who ran a hospice, and one to the Heart Disease Research Foundation.
Sister Mary of the Southern Cross thought it was awful. What are we meant to do with bits of junk glued together? she asked. She chucked Verna’s creation onto a passing trash collector’s truck, and wrote a lovely letter to Verna. So sweet of you. So sweet.
The Heart Disease Research Foundation sold their gift and got just over one hundred and fifty thousand. It was a record. It could be said that Sister Mary of the Southern Cross was rendered speechless, but that was not exactly true. She kept saying Jolly heck. Something like that.