Tom Chapman’s Short Stories
Josh was in grade three at school. He enjoyed all of the different things that they did there. There was listening to his teacher read stories; there was making things with paper and glue; there was drawing pictures; there was learning to write just like the grown up people do. Now Josh wasn't good at everything, but it was interesting, because it was all different.
But best of all, Josh liked the times that they went to the sports oval where they played games and ran around.
Sometimes they had to run right around the oval. It was such a long way, but Josh nearly always got back first. It wasn't really a race, but Josh was very good at running. He lived on a farm and played in the paddocks with his dogs, and they could run very fast. Josh couldn't keep up with them, but he did learn to run fast.
One day, after Josh had run round the sports oval, he was waiting for everyone else to finish, and he noticed that Andy was coming last again. Andy always came last, and although it wasn't a race, Andy was always disappointed.
"Josh," he said, "You always get back so quickly, and you have time to have a rest before we start something else. They always tell me to hurry up, and some of them make fun of me and say things like, 'You're so slow you couldn't even catch a cold.' I do the best I can, but I'm just not fast."
He sat for a little while, still puffing and breathing hard.
"You like running, don't you Josh?" asked Andy.
"Yes, I do," replied Josh. Then he asked, "What do you like doing?"
"I like to draw," Andy answered, "and it doesn't make me tired out either."
"Well," said Josh, "I suppose drawing's all right, but I'm not very good at it. All the people I draw look like sticks, they all look the same, and some of the other kids tell me my drawings are stupid. I don't like it when people make fun of me."
"Neither do I," said Andy. Then he was quiet for a time, as if he was thinking.
"Do you know what colour hair everybody has?" asked Andy.
"No, not without looking at them now," Josh answered.
Andy replied, "I can remember most of them in our class. It just seems sort of easy to me."
When they got back to class Josh asked Andy if he could look at his drawing book.
Everybody had a drawing book with loose pages, so they could keep the better ones, and throw away the drawings that didn't turn out very well.
Josh knew that his book only had a few drawings in it, but when he saw Andy's book, it was nearly full.
"Wow Andy, these are great!" Josh exclaimed, "I can even tell who some of the people are! Their hair is the right colour, and so are the girls' ribbons. Their eyes look proper, not little black blobs like I do. Andy, you are really good at this."
Josh turned over a few more pages and was excited at the next picture.
"Hey Andy, that's me isn't it?"
"Yes," said Andy, "That one was easy. I see you waiting on that seat every time I finish my run. I've seen you so many times there that even when I shut my eyes I still have the picture in my head."
Josh thought for a while. "You know Andy, we are a bit the same. You are good at something you like, and I am good at something I like. Sometimes I felt a bit silly because I thought my pictures were stupid, and you feel disappointed because your running is slow. You know what would make us both happy? Just think of the things that we can do. You are made for drawing, and I am made for running."
"Yes," said Andy, "You probably feel happy with your running, just like I feel happy with my drawing."
"I think you're right, "replied Josh.
And so Josh found out that day that you shouldn't make fun of people just because they are not good at one thing. They are probably really good at something else. Everybody is different.