3 Feet 2, nothing I can do.

The Foster family is a very, very tall family. Dad Foster is 6 feet tall. Mom Foster is 5 feet 11. Together they had five children, three boys and a girl. The oldest child Billy is 6 feet 4. The second oldest child Chad is 6 feet 2. The third oldest child Beth is 5 feet 11. The fourth child Anna is 5 feet 10. And finally the youngest child is Ricky who was only 3 feet 2.

“3 feet 2, I’m so short there’s nothing I can do” Ricky always said with a disappointed face.

Everyday Ricky would measure his growth in the doorway, and everyday it was the same…3 feet 2. He longed for the day to be tall like his brothers and sisters. Because he was the shortest, Ricky always felt like there was nothing he could do by himself.

When Ricky wanted to read his favorite books from the tall bookshelf, he had to ask Anna to get the books for him. When Ricky wanted to drink a cup of juice, Beth always had to get a cup for him from the high cupboard. When Ricky wanted to play with his prized toy cars, he always asked Chad to bring it down for him from the top shelf of his closet. When Ricky wanted to hang his model planes from the ceiling of his room, Billy hand to string it up for him.

“3 feet 2, I’m so short there’s nothing I can do” sadly said Ricky.

Ricky decided to do something. He got four big soup cans and taped two to the sole of his right shoe and two to the left sole. He stood up and already he felt tall. Ricky tried to walk but the weight of the soup cans were too heavy. He could only move about an inch from where he stood. This was not going to work.

“I got a better idea!” exclaimed Ricky.

He took off his shoes and made a dash for his room. He brought a chair into his closet and stood on top. He parted his clothes and hung onto the clothes bar. He held on for as long as he could and then let go.

“There, that should’ve made me taller” said Ricky.

Ricky decided to make an attempt to get something that was out of his reach. He went to get some ice cream from the freezer’s top shelf. Ricky strained to reach the ice cream, just then his mom and dad appeared and plucked it off the shelf for him.

Ricky felt disappointed.

He asked his parents, “When am I going to grow and be tall like the rest of the family?”

“Why do you want to know?” said his mom.

“Because I’m only 3 feet 2. I’m so short there’s nothing I can do” replied Ricky.

“Nonsense” replied his dad.

“But it’s true. When I feel like reading my favorite book, Beth has to get it down for me. When I need a cup for some juice, Anna gets me a cup. When I want to play with my cars, Chad has to bring them down from my closet shelf. And when I change my model planes hanging on the ceiling, Billy has to do it for me.” said Ricky.

His mom looked at him and said, “You know, your dad and I as well as Billy, Chad, Beth, and Anna were all short when we were young. As we got older, we grew taller.”

His dad added, “You’ll catch up to us soon. Who knows, you might even grow up to be the tallest one in the family.”

Ricky cracked a little smile but was still disappointed that he was 3 feet 2.

One day Ricky was outside with two of his best friends, Dexter and Sam. Ricky laid on the ground and said, “Dexter, grab my hands and Sam, you grab both my feet. On the count of three, pull as hard as you can.” Dexter and Sam felt a little weird but did what Ricky asked. “One…two…THREE!” shouted Ricky. Dexter and Sam pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, until they were too tired to pull. Ricky leaped up and stood there smiling as if he were 10 feet tall.

He looked at his friends, “So do I look any taller?”

Dexter and Sam looked at him from heat to toe and both said, “No.”

Feeling defeat, Ricky decided to go inside. On his way in, he noticed the whole family huddled in a circle. Out of curiosity, he went to see what was going on. “What happened?” asked Ricky.

“I was going to do some yard work, so I took off my wedding ring to put it in my pocket. It slipped out of my hands, dropped to the ground and rolled beneath that small crevice in the corner.  I couldn’t reach it” said his mom.

“Maybe I can crawl inside to get it” said his dad. His dad tried but was too big to fit in the small space. Billy tried but was too big as well. Chad tried, and then Beth, and then Anna. Everyone was too big and tall to fit in that tiny space.

“Let me try” said Ricky.

Since he was only 3 feet 2, Ricky easily crawled into the small space and retrieved his mom’s ring. When he came out, his family cheered and congratulated him on a job well done. His mom hugged him and said, “You see, sometimes being short is not so bad. You can do things that tall people can’t do.” Ricky smiled with joy.

Later that night the whole family celebrated Ricky’s accomplishment over a hearty meal. The next day when Ricky went to measure himself in the doorway, he noticed that he was an inch taller. He was extremely happy that he grew. It wasn’t alot but that was alright by him. Ricky grinned and proudly said, “3 feet 3, I’m still short but that’s fine by me. I can do things that tall people can’t do.”

Mark Kaneshige

Chloe’s Stage Fright

Chloe was the only student in third grade that loved to dance. It didn’t matter where, it didn’t matter how, it didn’t even matter if there was music playing or not Chloe just loved dancing. Her dancing involved a lot of twirling, skipping, hopping, jumping, swaying, and prancing.

Chloe’s teacher, Miss Keegan, noticed Chloe’s fondness for dancing and thought she was the perfect choice for the part of the dancing princess in their third grade play. Miss Keegan walked up to Chloe and asked, “Hey Chloe, we’re having a play this Friday night and I was wondering if you would like to be in it?”

Dancing away, Chloe replied “I dunno.”

“I think you would be perfect as the lead character” said Miss Keegan, “the dancing princess.”

She stopped and looked at Miss Keegan.  “Dancing?” said Chloe.

“Yes, you like to dance right?” asked Miss Keegan.

“All the time” exclaimed Chloe.

“So do you want to be the dancing princess in our play?” asked Miss Keegan.

“Yes!” said an excited Chloe.

“Great. The play is going to be in four days so we’ll be rehearsing for a short while afterschool.” said Miss Keegan. “Okay” answered Chloe. And with that, Chloe danced away with a hop, skip, and a twirl.

Afterschool, for the next four days, Chloe rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed with Miss Keegan and a few of her classmates. Miss Keegan was pleased at the way her students practiced, “I’m proud of you all. And especially you Chloe, you dance very well. You’re all going to do just fine for tonight’s play. See you later tonight.” Chloe was so happy to be in a play that involved the one thing she loved the most…dancing. Chloe gathered her things and proceeded to walk home. She was joined by two of her friends, Sarah and Kevin, who were also in the play.

As they were walking home Chloe said “Isn’t it great that we’re in a play?”

“I guess so” replied Sarah, “but I’m kind of scared.”

“Yeah, me too” said Kevin. Chloe was a bit puzzled and asked “What are you scared of?” “Performing in front of all those people” said Kevin.

“Yeah, all those people staring at you. I hope I don’t trip or fall. Everybody would laugh at me.” Sarah added. Chloe was a bit concerned at what Sarah said.

“I hope I don’t forget what to say” said Kevin, “that’s even more scarier.” Chloe started to look a little scared.

“I’m glad I’m not you Chloe” said Sarah. Kevin said the same, “Yeah, I’m glad I’m not you.”

“Why?” asked a puzzled Chloe.

“Because you’re the main character” said Kevin, “you have to dance and talk.” Sarah added, “Yeah, all those people will be watching you. What if you trip and fall or forget your lines?” “Everyone will laugh at you” said Kevin.

Chloe was now scared.

Sarah and Kevin waved Chloe goodbye as she headed into her house. Chloe ran up to her room and sat on her bed. “I wish I wasn’t in the play” said Chloe.

Just then, her mom entered the room, “Are you ready for the play tonight?”

“No” answered Chloe.

“Why not? Didn’t you rehearse all this week with Miss Keegan?” asked her mom.

“Yeah” said Chloe, “but I’m scared.”

“What are you scared of?” asked her mom.

“What if I trip and fall or forget what to say, everyone will laugh at me. I’m scared.” said Chloe.

“Don’t be, everybody gets a little stage fright when they have to speak or perform in front of people.” said her mom. Chloe was puzzled at what her mom said, “Stage fright? What’s that?”

Her mom looked at her, “That’s when you get nervous. You’re worried about every little that could go wrong, like tripping, falling, or forgetting what to say. But if you practiced hard enough that won’t happen.” “You practiced hard didn’t you” stated her mom.

“Yes” said Chloe.

“You dance all the time and you never forget a step right” said her mom. “Yeah” said Chloe. “So don’t worry so much” said her mom, “you’re only doing what you love to do except it’s on a stage. You dance all the time in front of your dad and I, your brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, and cousins.”

Chloe listened to every word her mom said. Her mom added, “When you go on the stage tonight, just pretend that your dad and I, your brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, and cousins are the only ones in the audience okay?”

Chloe thought for a second and smiled, “I can do that.”

That night Chloe remembered what her mom said. She never forgot what to say and she twirled, hopped, skipped, swayed, and pranced with ease. Everyone cheered and clapped when the play was done. Chloe took a bow and smiled.

“I did it!” Chloe proudly said, “Let’s do this again!”

Mark Kaneshige