Arnst Vandenburg was born legally blind. Since childhood, he’d worn glasses with lenses so thick the neighborhood kids mocked him daily, calling him “Owl” for the way the lenses magnified his stuttering, doe-brown eyes.
But Arnst had something the other kids did not have: an incredible sense of smell.
He could smell a house burning 100 miles away. He knew when someone had an internal infection just by breathing in the scent of their wrist. In time, he would become something of a legend in his town.
“God gave him this gift to make up for his bad eyes,” his mother knowingly told the neighbors, who smiled back at her uneasily, not knowing if they should feel slighted by or jealous of this wunderkid.
Flash forward twenty years. All the neighborhood boys had moved away with their wives, beginning their own families. Arnst still lived alone with his mother. He was 31.
“When will you get married, Arnst?”
“When I smell her, I will know.”
His mother threw up her hands, half in despair, mostly out of fear.