“You’re useless,” said his father. “Go out boy, make your mark on the world and become somebody. Do something worthwhile that everybody can benefit from. It isn’t going to come to you, son, you need to go out and find something new. What you need is a bit of innovation.”
Moan, moan, moan, thought Conrad, he’d heard it all before. Hid dad was a small time Kansas farmer, for all his fancy words, he’d hardly changed the world had he? Jack Hilton, huh, who’d ever heard of him?
Conrad was still out of sorts when he lay down on his thin, mattress. His father’s words churned around in his head. Long into the might he turned this way and that, trying to think of something new, something to do, something to make, something to find… anything. He’d show the old bastard that he wasn’t useless.
The following morning he was tired, his neck was stiff and his back ached. He wandered the farm aimlessly, wondering how soon he could sneak off for a crafty kip in the hayloft.
“Hey, Conrad,” yelled one of the farm hands, “Take this sack of feathers to the bin will you mate, I’ve got another fifteen ducks to pluck for that hotel order.”
“Sure, Jake,” said Conrad good-naturedly. The waste bins were quite near to the storage barn so that would suit his cause nicely.
Conrad flung the dirty sack down and flopped on top of it, within seconds he was asleep. He dreamed of soft white bags filled with freshly plucked duck down and he slept the afternoon away while the pigs squealed in hunger.
That night Conrad waved away his father’s anger, “I’ve done it. I’ve come up with something that can benefit everybody.”
And so the feather pillow was born.
That night Conrad lay on his thin mattress with his head cushioned on the soft sack of down. He wondered what else he could invent. And that night he dreamed again of a white sack of feathers… with a grand hotel built around it.