“Henry, now you tell me….. Henry !! What are you doing?”, yelled Madam Jane, the class teacher. Frankly Henry never liked Madam Jane’s long, boring and most frightful classes of mathematics. The problems of interest calculation, proportional mixtures were the biggest problems of life ever faced by poor Henry. So he got engaged in playing “Tic Tac Toe” with his best friend Mary and became so engrossed in the game, that the poor kid didn’t realize Madam Jane was standing right behind him.
Henry was shocked and terrified. Unfortunately for Henry, Jane didn’t notice Mary playing as well. Poor Henry had no one beside him to share all the scoldings. So things went as usual – Henry was called in the principal’s office and got a stern warning for this “incorrigible” offence. Principal Donahue warned Henry, ” I hope this is the last time I get to know of this kind of act. You are not a toddler anymore. Grow up and behave properly. You may go now.”.
After coming back to class, Mary approached Henry with a guilty feeling inside. “I am sorry Henry, I didn’t notice Madam Jane. I was afraid of telling the truth to her as well. Please forgive me.”. “Don’t be sorry Mary. I guess all we have to do is grow up. Once we grow up, no one will ever scold us.”. Mary was a little confused, “Are you sure?”. Henry replied confidently, “Of course. See, have you ever seen Madam Jane being scolded? No! Or our Principal, or our any teacher? See, our Mom and Dad?? No one gets scolded, because they are big. I will grow big too.” But how to do that? That was something unknown to Henry. “I need to ask Mom or Dad”, thought Henry.
When he reached home, he found his Dad had returned earlier than normal. It seemed something has gone wrong. His Mom was in the kitchen. When Dad saw Henry, his eyebrows went to a frowning mode. “So, I heard you were playing in class, eh?” Henry was freezed in fear, no wonder Madam Jane called Dad. Henry replied in a shaky voice, “Dad, I will never do that again. I am sorry”. “Hmm. You better be.” Henry didn’t take anymore risk. He rushed to get fresh and started completing his homework.
Now it was dinner time and it seemed that the mood was cooler. So Henry took a chance and asked, “What is “growing up”?”. Dad was astonished and fumbled a little bit. “Um…. “Growing up” means you be a better person?”. “Am I not good Dad?”, asked Henry with a sad look. Dad smiled and replied, “Of course you are. But when you grow up you learn more. When you learn more you know what you should do and what you shouldn’t. More knowledge makes you better.”. “But Dad, it means I have to study more to learn more!! You know I don’t like maths. That’s why I was playing in class.” Dad listened to him carefully, “Hmm. I understand your point. But playing in class was wrong, isn’t it? Madam Jane was hurt at your behavior. Is it right to hurt anyone?” “No Dad.” “So now that you understand your fault, you have grown up a little more. Got it? But to understand more differences between right and wrong, you need to study more, learn more. Right? This is not about grades only Henry, so don’t get scared off. Like you see, you love reading stories, adventures. You like drawing as well. Right? So you see, your knowledge comes from there as well!! ”
Henry was really moved. So it was not that difficult to grow up? Not all about studying and grades? He was so happy. He happily jumped towards Dad and said, “You know Dad, we have an essay competition coming in. I have decided what to write. I will write my aim in life, to grow up and being a better person.”.