An incident from my 30 year career as an elementary school principal.
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I saw him in my office,
He seemed so small.
His eyes were large and sad.
His name was Pete.
His mother said that he was "slow."
His sister, Sissy, she was "great:"
The lead in the Christmas play,
The best pianist in school,
A "straight A" student,
A great helper around the house,
A true gem!
But, Pete was slow,
A handful who needed to be watched.
They'd had him tested, to make sure.
Pete's eyes were troubled;
His daddy knew he wasn't slow.
He could outrun the fastest,
And, outsmart the smartest on the block.
But, then... his daddy was gone
And his momma didn't know.
I took them to their classrooms . . .
"This is Sissy, you are lucky.
Put her with the best,
For she is tops in everything."
Let me take Pete by myself.
We stopped along the way and talked.
"I'm Mr. C, and I know
You're fast like me.
I also know you're smart.
Do you like to hike?"
We made a bargain to be friends.
He promised to bring me samples of his work . . .
This would prove that he was smart.
And, I would race him once a day
This would prove that he was fast.
"Miss T., this is Pete
He's my friend,
I will see him once a day.
He's fast and smart;
Pleae help him stay that way."
To prove that he was fast . . .
He ran the children down.
He brought me terrible work . . .
To show me he was smart.
But, he learned to be the boss . . .
To make the letters stay on lines
And numbers to correctly add.
His strength and speed he did control . . .
After sitting on the bench.
Each day he came and leaned on me.
We talked and laughed
And sometimes cried.
He learned to be wise and strong.
He became a MAN,
With heart and soul,
And helped his sister . . .
Who fell down.