The President of the Mothers of Nob stepped up to the microphone in a sparkling, blue gown. “Okay, ladies.” She held the hand of a fidgety Mrs. Hawkman who was blowing kisses to each friend who waved to her from their banquet tables.
The President and Mrs. Hawkman both turned to the roboton, a human-shaped robot sitting center-stage on a throne. “Our very objective roboton has surprised several ladies this evening by calling them up to receive such awards as ‘Mother of the Best Artist’ and ‘Mother of the Best Musician.’ Now, it has called up Mrs. Hawkman to receive honor as ‘Mother of the Best Athlete.’ Let us hear its reasons.”
The roboton lifted its metal hand. “Lionel Hawkman is--bee-beep-- the only boy in the city of Nob that hit two or more home runs in every game this season. He is the only teenager in the city that can swim across Nob Lake. His running speed beats that of Daniel Jones, last year’s athletic winner. Mrs. Hawkman has brought Lionel’s success about by involving him in various sports since he was two years old-- fulfilling her late husband’s dying wish.”
The women applauded, and the orchestra started its upbeat tune.
The President hugged Mrs. Hawkman and handed her a blue ribbon.
“Thank you! Thank you!” Mrs. Hawkman threw her arms over her head into a “V” and danced off the stage.
“Okay, girls,” said the President. The music stopped. “What fun we are having! The roboton will now give us its choice for ‘Mother of the Best Student.’”
The roboton moved its mechanical neck back and forth. Finally, its golden bulb eyes spotlighted a woman with a dark bun at the front table. “The winner is--- bee-beep-- Mrs. Golden, the mother of Jenna Golden.”
The ladies resumed their clapping, and the orchestra once again started its tune.
Mrs. Golden arose from her seat in a prim, red gown. With regal control, she marched toward the stage. As she arrived next to the President, she took a slight bow once, then twice.
The President leaned over the podium.
The applause and music died down.
“Well, ladies! Let us hear the roboton’s reasons for choosing Mrs. Golden.”
The roboton lifted its mechanical hand from the throne’s arm rest and dropped its jaw. “Jenna Golden is--- bee-beep-- the only student in Nob to receive an A+ average--- bee-beep. Mrs. Golden has brought this success about by giving Jenna daily after-school tutoring by an outstanding professor from the University of Nob--- bee-beep.”
The ladies gave another strong round of applause.
The President gave Mrs. Golden a blue ribbon and shook her hand.
Mrs. Golden pivoted upon her high heels and walked off the stage, giving periodic nods to her applauding friends.
The music stopped. “Well, ladies! This has been such a fun-filled event, only made possible by your generous donations to the Mothers of Nob.” She rubbed her hands together. “Now, we come to the award we have all been waiting for: ‘The Best Mother.’”
The women broke into excited chattering, yet as the roboton’s eyes lit up and its neck moved from one side to the other, they hushed.
The base drum rolled.
The roboton’s eyes finally settled its spotlight upon a dark-skinned woman in a servant’s dress who held a metal pitcher in one hand and a glass in the other. “The winner is-- bee-beep--Mrs. Hernandez.”
The room was silent.
The server’s feet remained motionless beneath herself.
The President wiped her brow with a handkerchief.
Someone from the orchestra cleared his throat.
Finally, the President gestured for Mrs. Hernandez to come forward. “Please, dear.”
Mrs. Hernandez put down the pitcher and glass and hurried up to the stage. “Really, mam,” she whispered in the President’s ear, yet the microphone picked up her voice. “I’m not a part of this group. I didn’t even pay for a ticket.”
The President grabbed the server’s hand. “What can I do? You are the rightful winner. Let us hear our roboton’s reasons.”
Mrs. Hernandez pursed her lips together and sighed. “Alright.”
The roboton lifted its metal hand. “Johnny, Angelica, Mary, and Juan Hernandez--bee-beep-- are the only children in Nob who show continual respect and lovingkindness to adults and to their fellow children-- bee-beep. Mrs. Hernandez has brought this success about by praying for them nightly and teaching them to live for God’s glory--bee-beep-- instead of for the praise of self that often accompanies achievement.”
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