The Little Boy

[Editor’s note: this will NOT happen to your child at Open Door]

Once a little boy went to school. He was quite a little boy and it was quite a big school, but when the little boy found that he could go to his room by walking right in from the door outside he was happy and the school did not seem quite so big any more.

One morning, when the little boy had been in school a while, the teacher said, “Today we are going to make a picture.” “Good,” thought the little boy. He liked to make pictures…he could make all kinds—lions and tigers, chickens and cows, trains and boats, and he took out his box of crayons and began to draw. But the teacher said, “Wait…it’s not time to begin,” and she waited until everyone was ready. “Now,” said the teacher, “We are going to make flowers.” “Good,” thought the little boy, he liked flowers and he began to make beautiful ones with his pink and orange and blue crayons, but the teacher said, “Wait—and I will show you how.” And it was RED with a green stem. “There,” said the teacher, “Now you may begin.”

On another day when the little boy had opened the door from the outside all by himself, the teacher said, “Today we are going to make something with clay.” “Good,” thought the little boy…he could make all kinds of things with clay…snakes and snowmen, elephants and mice, cars and trucks, and he began to pull and pinch his ball of clay. But the teacher said, “Wait and I will show you how.” And she showed everyone how to make one deep dish. “There,” said the teacher, “Now you may begin.” The little boy looked at the teacher’s dish. Then he looked at his own. He liked his dishes better than the teacher’s, but he did not say this—he just rolled his clay into a big ball again and made a dish like the teacher’s. It was a deep dish.

And pretty soon the little boy learned to wait and to watch and to make things just like the teacher. And pretty soon he didn’t make things on his own any more. Then it happened that the little boy and his family moved to another house in another city and the little boy had to go to another school. This school was even bigger than the other one and there was no door from the outside into his room. He had to go up some big steps and walk down a long hall to get to his room. And the very first day he was there, the teacher said, “Today we are going to make a picture.” “Good” thought the little boy and he waited for the teacher to tell him what to do. But she didn’t say anything. She just walked around the room. When she came to the little boy, she asked, ‘Don’t you want to make a picture?” “Yes,” said the little boy. “What are we going to make?” “I don’t know until you make it.” said the teacher. “How shall I make it?” asked the little boy. “Why, any way you like,” said the teacher. “And what color?” asked the little boy. “Any color,” said the teacher. “If everyone made the same picture and used the same colors, how would I know who made what and which was which?” “I don’t know,” said the little boy. And he began to make a RED flower with a green stem.

Written by Helen E. Buckley, author of Grandfather and I, Grandmother and I, and Where Did Josie Go?, lives in Bradenton, Florida, and Pulaski, New York.