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Is It Fair

3. A Friendly Face


At the end of the school day, Lisa asked Larry if he wanted her to walk home with him. Larry seemed like he was really downcast. Larry told Lisa that he just wanted to be alone for a little while. Lisa was really concerned for Larry, but she decided she would just go home and see how he was when he got there.


Larry was walking very slowly when he got to Grandpa’s house. Larry was wondering whether he should stop and talk to Grandpa. He always had something encouraging to say. And Larry definitely needed some encouragement.


Just as Larry was about to walk past Grandpa’s house, Grandpa came out the front door.


Grandpa said, “Hi, Larry. Looks like you had a rough day.“


Larry turned around to talk to Grandpa. Larry said, “Hi, Grandpa. Yes, today was about the worst day of my life at school. You can’t imagine what it’s like to say that you wanna write a poem, and all of your friends think that you’re from some other planet.”


Grandpa’s happy smile and cheerful voice always cheered up Larry, no matter how much of a down day he was having. Larry was wondering whether it would help today.


Grandpa said, “It is a really nice day, today. I was thinking I would wash my car in the driveway. Do you want to watch me, and chat for a few minutes?”


Larry thought about that for a short time, and then he answered, “Yes, Grandpa. I think I need to see a friendly face today. There weren’t any at school. That’s for sure! “


Grandpa responded, “What could possibly happen at school that would make you so down?”


Larry said in such a low voice that Grandpa could hardly hear him, “I told my friends what I’m going to do for the school fair.”


Grandpa said, “The school fair? I thought that would be a happy event. Everybody seems to enjoy it because they can do anything that their little heart desires. I’ve gone down to the fair several times and really enjoyed everything that I saw in the past few years. Some people make a model airplane. Some people draw pictures, like your sister. Some people write a story about what it’s like to be in your school. All very happy things. So what caused you some much grief today, my little friend?”


Larry said, “Actually, I would first like to ask you a question. Is that OK?”


Grandpa responded, “Sure. You can ask me anything you want. I love answering questions, even if I’m not quite sure what the answer is.”


Larry seemed to cheer up a little bit at that response.


Larry asked, “Grandpa, do you write poems?“


Grandpa said, “When I was younger , I used to write lots of poems. I like to write things about my life. I like to write things about nature. And a lot of times those things ended up being poems. When I was in school, I enjoyed learning about some of the famous poets, and they’re different styles. Sometimes I would try to write a poem in a new style just for fun. Most of those poems came out no so good, but I kept them anyway.”


Larry was very excited to find a friend that not only wrote poems, but actually enjoyed doing it.


Larry asked, “When did you write your first poem?”


Grandpa had to think about that one for a few minutes. Larry could see little gears running around inside of his mind while he was thinking.


Then Grandpa said, “I don’t really know the first time I wrote a poem, but I think I probably was about your age. There’s nothing wrong with boys and girls writing poems. There are lots of very famous people, men and women, who write poems. Some of their poems get published. Some of them don’t. That’s not the important thing. The important thing is that you’re doing what you like to do.“


Larry said, “Perhaps I can come by someday soon, and you can show me some of your poems. I mean, some of the ones that you really like, and you don’t mind sharing with other people.”


Grandpa got a really big smile on his face. He loved it when his little friends stopped by to talk to him. It still felt like they were his grandchildren - the grandchildren that he never had.


Grandpa said, “Larry, I would love you to stop by to listen to some of my poems.”


Then, Grandpa said, “But now, I want to make sure that you have plenty of time to do your schoolwork. Maybe you shouldn’t stay too much longer and watch me wash my car. I know you want to get home and start working on your poem for the fair. And maybe some other homework, too.”


Larry said, “As usual, Grandpa, you are right. I do need to get home and start working on my poem. I don’t know how long it’s gonna take. But Lisa has already told me what her drawing is. And I told Lisa that I would use her drawing as sort of a… inspiration for my poem.”


Grandpa said, “That sounds like a really good plan. I am so glad that I can encourage you in this. I know it’s going to be a wonderful poem, because it will come from your heart.”


Larry responded, “Thanks again, Grandpa. When I finish the poem, I will be sure to share it with you. You know, we poets need to stick together!”


Grandpa said, “I hear you, Larry. Have a good day. See you soon.”

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