Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Help. I Can't Hear Me!

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Help. I Can't Hear Me!

Article excerpt

ONE night at dinner, Charles started to speak, when suddenly the rest of his family exploded into conversation like fireworks on the Fourth of July.

"Hmmmm," thought Charles, "maybe this will work." He filled his spoon with applesauce and dumped it into his sister's peas. She didn't notice; she was too busy talking. He carefully set a pea on his spoon, took aim, and p-f-f-f-ing! It hit his brother smack on the nose. But even flying peas couldn't make his brother stop talking.

"I've had enough!" he thought, pushing back his chair. Charles stomped up the stairs, slammed his bedroom door, and yelled, "Help! I can't hear me!" No one else could either. They were all downstairs - talking.

Charles flopped on his bed and gazed out the window. Suddenly, a flash of color fluttered past. He moved closer as a bright yellow butterfly settled gently on the sill, opening and closing its wings as if saying a silent hello. Its color and quietness caught his attention.

"Aha!" Charles exclaimed. "That's it!"

The next morning Charles was up early. He went to his dresser, pulled out his money jar, and dumped the contents into his pocket. By 10 a.m., Charles was at the sporting goods store, waiting for Mr. Miller.

"Morning, Charles," said Mr. Miller as he unlocked the door and yawned. "What can I do for you?"

"Plenty, Mr. Miller. I'd like to see the brightest colored sweat suits you've got."

"Well, here's a nice outfit," Mr. Miller muttered, pulling out a glow-in-the-dark lime-green suit with orange stripes down the sleeve.

"Thanks, Mr. Miller! It's just what I need! These, too," Charles said, pulling a pair of silver reflector sunglasses off the rack. Then he counted out the money.

Charles ran home, slipped into his room, and put on his new suit and sunglasses. Then he walked slowly down the stairs.

First, Charles went into the kitchen where his mother was talking on the phone. She didn't notice. Charles moved closer. Suddenly, his mother blinked and rubbed her eyes. The sun reflected off his glasses and was shining in her face.

"Charles?" she asked, puzzled. Charles remained silent. Then he slipped out of the kitchen and into the living room where his father was shouting at the football players on TV. Charles glided in front of the set and smiled.

"Hey! What in the world! Charles, is that you?"

His father was staring in amazement at his glow-in-the-dark lime-green son. Charles remained silent.

Then he tiptoed outside to the sandbox where his brother and sister were arguing. Charles stepped in and gracefully sat down between them. At first they squabbled around him. Suddenly it was quiet.

"Charles, you're so green!" his brother exclaimed.

"Those glasses are weird," said his sister matter of factly. Then they just stared.

"That's enough for one day," thought Charles, as he quietly stood up to return to his room. …

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