Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)
- TITLE: Prodigy's Child
By K. J. Cash
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A quiet moment of anticipation is eclipsed by a brilliant tone that climbs to the top of the auditorium and soars high over the heads of the crowd. They marvel at this sound—so ethereal—so unreachable. Human voice could never achieve that heavenly sound, but some master the instrument.
Jackson was eight years old the first time he sat in the audience to hear his father play. Though he was unable to articulate his thoughts and feelings about the experience, neither could he contain them.
“WOW,” he whispered ever so quietly, because he knew he’d get thumped on the noggin if he disturbed mother from her teary eyed fixation.
Jackson slid his socked feet across the wooden floors of his home. He was playing a game of run and slide. The faster he ran, the further he’d slide. A hush fell over the imaginary crowd. Determination welled up inside him. This time he would capture the Guinness Book of World Records title of Power Slider Extraordinaire in one fell swoop.
People, there has never before been attempted such a dangerous slide. Please hold your applause. And he’s off! Notice the strength of his form as his left leg stretches, stretches, far out in front of him. He’s not even close to running out of—
“ooof,” Jackson busted into a door swinging it wide open. He quickly shook off his surprise.
He runs out of floor before he runs out of steam folks!
Jackson uncrumpled his legs and stood up. He was in his parents’ bedroom. This was forbidden territory. Where is mom anyway? He was just glad she hadn’t heard the crash.
Jackson’s eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room. Father’s violin case lay open on the bed. A cloth draped over the instrument that was cradled inside.
Jackson drew cautiously closer. The bow was lying next to the open case. He turned to look at the open door. He listened for a moment for any sign of his parents stirring. The path of light shining through the door was much like the spotlight that his father stood in on stage. He stepped into the stream of light.
The boy turned again toward the open violin case. With two fingers he carefully pulled the cloth aside. Oh, the violin looked so rich and glossy. He wondered what it would be like to touch it—to hold it. Before he realized, he had already grasped it by the neck and lifted it from its case. It was heavier than it looked. He had to hold it with one hand so his other hand would be free to pick up the bow—which he did before turning back toward his spotlight.
Jackson straightened his back and stood tall. He swung the instrument up clumsily jarring it into his shoulder. It nearly toppled him sideways, but he quickly recovered his stance. His bow raised high into the air. Jackson felt a rush of excitement. He scraped the bow across the strings.
“SCRAH HAAAANNG,” no, that wasn’t what he was going for.
“SCREEE HEECH,” nope.
“SCRAGGA HAGGA HAGGA HAGGA” The violin slipped from his shoulder. He fumbled. He raised his knee to help catch it. With boofs and ooofs, the instrument crashed to the floor. A sense of horror and dread swept over Jackson. A shadow appeared in the doorway.
Father knelt and grasped Jackson by the shoulders, “You must never touch my violin,” he said. “It takes a lifetime to learn to play this instrument masterfully. You must fervently love the music to practice and study daily.”
Jackson nodded in quiet agreement.
“There is no real damage done…this time,” said dad. “If you really want to learn, I will teach you.”
Jackson took his training very seriously. As he grew into a man concerned about things eternal, it was easy for him to understand what it takes to overcome the world. The same thing it takes to become a fine musician—lifetime commitment and fervent love—enough to make daily study and practice a joy.
Man in himself has no resource to achieve beautiful notes in the song of his heart, but some men master the instrument as prodigies of their father—Master of all.
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