a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

the pumpkin crown

< by Brennan >

Dominic hated school. He struggled with math and floundered in reading; common words sounded foreign in his ears. He went through each day alone or derided. All he wanted was to fit in.

Ms. Alber was Dominic’s best friend at school. Although she was a teacher, she wasn’t like any other teacher. He left his homeroom for special visits to her room—a bright refuge of hope and praise. She made him feel confident, as though he could do wonderful things like everyone else.

And it showed. As visits with Ms. Alber added up, he liked school more and more. He started to make friends. He started to catch on in reading and math.

Then it happened: He won it. The crown, the pumpkin crown that was Ms Alber’s highest prize. The crown represented the culmination of his progress—it meant that he no longer needed special help from Ms. Alber.

He wouldn’t have to leave homeroom anymore. He wouldn’t have to leave his new friends.

And then it struck him: What if he never saw Ms. Alber again? What if she found a new Dominic?

He couldn’t do it. She was too important.

Dominic shredded the pumpkin crown and went to Ms. Alber. He told her; he didn’t want to leave. He didn’t want the crown if it meant losing her.

She laughed. “Dominic, I gave you the pumpkin crown so you could go teach all the others kids how to make their own pumpkin crowns. They are your new friends, right?”

“And I’m also your friend. I am always going to be your friend. Beside, your classroom is two doors down. You can come say hi.”

Dominic resolved to make a new crown. And he didn’t have the heart to tell Ms. Alber, but the colors of the first one were all wrong anyway.

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