[Thanks to the Wizard of Ads for this story.]

Caterina dumps baby Lenny on her boyfriend, then moves to town and gets married to someone else. Neither Lenny’s father nor his mother is willing to give Lenny their family name, so he is known only by the name of the mountain under whose shadow he was born: Lenny Albano.

Lenny’s deep curiosity causes him to be easily distracted. Although lots of people are willing to buy his paintings, rarely can he stay focused long enough to finish one.
An unwanted child, Lenny grows up strangely in this remote, rural neighborhood without access to comic books or video games. Estranged parents. Odd relationships. A badly broken situation.

But his imagination is intact. Is your imagination intact?

Long walks in the hills surrounding Mount Albano cause Lenny to fall in love with animals. He loves them so much that he buys caged creatures just so he can set them free. How Lenny makes his money is unimportant. But how he spends it reveals his soul.

How do you spend your money?

People laugh when Lenny becomes a vegetarian. He doesn’t care. People have laughed at him since the day he was born. Lenny hides from them by taking journeys in his mind. He goes exploring, deep inside his own head. Lenny is amazed by the things he finds.

Lenny scribbles his thoughts in journals and draws little pictures in the margins. Although no publisher is willing to publish these random thoughts, Bill Gates recently paid 30 million dollars for just one of Lenny’s journals.

Lenny is very smart.

But Lenny’s deep curiosity causes him to be easily distracted. Although lots of people are willing to buy his paintings, rarely can he stay focused long enough to finish one.

Lenny isn’t completely alone in his quirky curiosity. When Lenny is 40, a man named Chris sails west to look for the east. Go figure. Long after Lenny dies, the world realizes how far ahead of his time he’d been. Sigmund Freud said Lenny “was like a man who awoke too early in the darkness, while the others were all still asleep.”

But we no longer call him by the name of the mountain under whose shadow he was born. We choose instead to call him by the name of the village he was from. And for some strange reason we insist on calling Lenny of Vinci, “Leonardo.”

I think Lenny would have laughed had he known.

And I think he would have fit right in at Wizard Academy.

What do you think?

Roy H. Williams