A Little Boy

Helen Buckley.

 

Once a little boy went to school.

He was quite a little boy

And it was quite a big school.

But the little boy

Found that he could go to his room

By walking in from the door outside,

He was happy

And school did not seem

Quite so big any more.

 

One morning,

When the little boy had been in school awhile,

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 things;

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 is not time to begin.

And she waited until everyone looked ready.

Now, said the teacher,

We are going to make flowers.

Good, thought the little boy.

He liked to make flowers,

And he began to make beautiful flowers.

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.

The little boy looked at the teacher's flower.

Then he looked at his own flower.

He liked his flower better than the teacher's.

But he did not say this.

He just turned his paper over

And he made a flower like the teacher's.

It was red, with a green stem.

 

On another day,

When the little boy had opened

The door from outside all by himself,

The teacher said:

Today we are going to make something with clay.

Good, thought the little boy.

He liked clay.

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, it is not time to begin.

And she waited until everyone looked ready.

Now, said the teacher,

We are going to make a dish,

He liked to make dishes,

And he began to make some

That were all shapes and sizes.

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 he made a dish just 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 anything of his own any more.

Then it happened

That the little boy and his family

Moved into 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 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 the teacher didn't say anything.

She just walked around the room.

 

When she came to the little boy she said:

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, anyway you like, said the teacher.

And any colour? asked the little boy.

Any colour, said the teacher.

If everyone made the same picture,

And used the same colours,

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.

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