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Steve Groll

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The Boy Never Learns
By Steve Groll
Saturday, October 02, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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An obviously ironic story about a boy named Swifty.

This is a story about a boy named Swifty. For some reason Swifty never learns. Oh, he is a good student in school. He catches on to math, spelling, and stuff like that, but he has a hard time learning the really important things that would make him a successful person.

First, he doesn’t learn from his own experiences. For example, one day when he was walking home from school, three boys from another school, looking for trouble, surrounded him. They were bullies and when they saw Swifty all alone, they stopped him on the street. They started pushing him and calling him names. He protested, “I never did anything to you guys. Why are you picking on me?”

They started taunting him, “Why don’t you cry for your mama. Is little baby boy scared: boo hoo.”

All of a sudden there was a siren and a loud voice saying, “What’s going here; what are you boys doing?” All three of the bullies ran and left Swifty standing there scared and ready to cry. He found out later that the boys got caught and their parents were brought down to the police station for a talk. All three of the boys were in big trouble.

Only a week later, Swifty was playing with his best friend, Studley, during recess. Studley said, “Hey, look over there.” He pointed to a boy that Swifty didn’t know. The boy looked about a year younger than Swifty and Studley. “Come on, that kid lives on my block, and I don’t like him. Let’s rough him up a little.”

Studley went up the younger boy and started pushing him just like the bullies did to Swifty only a week before. When the boy started to cry, Swifty said, “Oh the little boy wants his mama; boo hoo.”

All of a sudden, they heard the principal. standing behind them, saying, “All right, what is going on here.” She took the boys to her office where Studley and Swifty sat until there parents got there. Swifty ended up grounded for a week, had to apologies to the little boy, to the boy’s parents, and had to help the boy do his homework every day after school for two weeks.

Second, Swifty doesn’t learn from other peoples mistakes. One day he was in the local electronics store looking to buy some batteries for his flashlight. He saw a teenager sneak a pocket radio into his pocket. The teen looked around and seemed to think that nobody saw him. He walked to the counter and said to the cashier, “You don’t have what I’m looking for. I think I will try some place else. Then he headed to the door. Just as he was walking out, the security scanner went off. The radio was tagged to set off the alarm when someone went through the doors without paying. The thief was caught by a security guard who was outside walking by the store.

Swifty saw all this and thought, That is a cool idea. I would like a pocket TV. If I put it in my pocket and then ran out really fast, I bet the alarm will not go off. Even if it does, they won’t catch me. So he did it. He put a mini TV in his pocket, and one of the store workers saw him do it. The worker walked over by the door and waited for the boy to make his move. When Swifty thought the way was clear, he made a dash for the door. But just as he got there, the worker grabbed him around the waist and held him until the police arrived.

This time, Swifty was in big trouble. He had to go to family court and it was decided that Swifty had to do a month of community service. He had to spend all his weekends picking up trash in the parks. He had to pull weeds around the courthouse. All the lousy jobs they could find, they made him do. He was miserable.

Third, Swifty doesn’t learn from wise teaching. One Sunday he went to church because one of his cousins wanted him to try out the Sunday school with her. That Sunday the lesson was on obeying your parents and respecting your elders. The teacher’s lesson taught that parents, grandparents, and teachers were people who have lived life, made mistakes, discovered things that could help children to avoid problems if they would listen to them and obey them.

Later that week, Swifty asked his Mom and Dad if he could go out at night with some friends. His parents wanted to know who his friends were and what they were going to do. Swifty just said, “They are just guys. We are only going to hang out and talk and stuff.”

They said, “No.”

Swifty decided that he was going to do what he wanted no matter what his parents said. That night when he was supposed to be in bed, he snuck out of his bedroom window. He met up with his buddies, and they had a big bag of spray paint cans. They told Swifty. “Pick your colors. We’re going to do some tagging. We’re going to spray-paint everything we can until the paint is gone.” They headed out and started spraying walls on business buildings, signs, park benches, and anything else they could find.

While they were out roaming around in the dark, a man who was working late saw what the boys were doing. He went out and yelled at them to stop. He said, “I’m calling the police!” The boys scattered. Swifty ran. He was so scared of being caught again that he ran as fast as he could even though he could not see hardly anything in the dark. He ended up tripping over a curb into the street. He heard his collarbone snap. Not only that but he hit his head and for a long time he couldn’t move. When the police arrived, they took him to the emergency room. After spending a week in the hospital with a concussion that almost killed him, he spent his whole summer cleaning off graffiti all over town.

When one of his friends asked Swifty if he felt sorry for all the trouble he had caused, the foolish boy said, “I’m sorry I got caught. I will have to be more careful next time and keep my eyes open.”

children, kids, young adult, christian values, church, thrilling, christianity, Sunday school, teaching story, home schooling, children's church, YA, wisdom, consequences, drama

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Reviewed by David Glenn 11/12/2010
Poor Swiftly. If only he could learn what he's supposed to know, and stop getting himself into trouble. A story lots of people can relate to, and can hopefully learn from.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 11/5/2010
There are lessons to be learned for sure as they are brought to light via your story here, Steve. A couple of typos that I picked up: "they heard the the principle" (the double "the" and "principal")
"grabbed him around the waste" (waist) I appreciate when others point out my errors (typos) etc. Two pairs of eyes are always better when it comes to proof reading and editing. Thank you for sharing. Love and peace,

Reviewed by ALISON HILL 10/19/2010
Young readers will identify with many aspects of this story as Stephen brings the realities of a childs life to the readers attention.
Reviewed by Shauna Hayne 10/5/2010
There are a lot out there that never seem to learn which is a shame. Another good story from Steve.
Reviewed by JMS Bell 10/3/2010

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Steve Groll

Beyond the Dead Forest

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