Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AMAZING (04/19/18)
TITLE: The Amazing Artie
By Donna Powers
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My friends rolled their eyes at his tricks. “Big deal.” they said. “You can look that stuff up on Google or buy a kit.”
I didn’t care. I thought it was awesome.
Sure, his tricks might be from a kit, and he was just some accountant making extra money working birthday parties. But to me, he seemed … well, magical.
And then, he showed us an empty hat - and a totally real rabbit came out of it. That blew me away. After the show, I asked how he did it. But of course, he wouldn’t tell me.
After my party, I couldn’t get those tricks out of my mind. I did odd jobs to earn money, and I bought magic kits. That stuff was elementary, but I had to start somewhere. Mom encouraged me. “Look, Artie, if that’s what you want to do, go ahead.”
“Someday, I’ll be the Amazing Arturo.”
“Arturo? Your name is Arthur.”
“Yeah, but Arturo sounds more magical.”
“If you say so, Artie. Now, amaze me by making that mess in your room disappear.”
Yeah, Mom was hilarious. But I cleaned my room; then, I kept on practicing. I practiced in front of my little sister, Katie, who thought every trick was wonderful. I knew someday I’d get my chance to perform for a bigger audience.
So, when our teacher announced the annual Talent Show, I was excited.
Except… Mom wouldn’t let me get a rabbit.
“Look, Artie, no more pets. We already have two gerbils, and you and Katie barely take care of them.”
I pleaded, but she didn’t change her mind.
I practiced my act, and Katie kept clapping. I thought had a good routine.
Except I knew it needed a rabbit.
The night of the Talent Show, I wished for a rabbit to appear out of the sky. I was a little miffed at Mom. Just because Katie leaves the gerbils’ cage messy once in a while….
Stupid gerbils, I thought. Why can’t I turn them into rabbits? And then I figured: a gerbil is kinda like a rabbit…right? I begged Katie to let me take one for the show. She didn’t want me to do it, but after I gave her my video game time for a week, she said OK.
That night, at the show, the routine went pretty well. I even heard some clapping (although I suspected it was mostly from Mom and Katie.)
But when I got ready to pull the gerbil out of my hat, I ….
I couldn’t find the gerbil.
And then, I saw him scooting across the stage floor. And, so did the audience. The audience was laughing; except for Katie - who looked horrified.
Well, I didn’t want Goldie to get away, so I ran after him. I chased him up and down that stage – while everybody laughed – until I cornered him and scooped him up with my hat.
And everybody clapped.
The principal thanked me for my “comically amusing act,” and I hastily packed up my stuff and ran down the steps.
I didn’t win the Talent Show.
Ashamed, I trudged my stuff out to Mom’s car after the show. “I guess that didn’t go so well, did it, Mom?”
“Oh, Artie. It was fine. You did a good job with those other tricks, and everyone enjoyed seeing you running after Goldie.”
“Yeah, but Mom… you just don’t understand. I wanted to be the Amazing Arturo. Instead I was just … Artie.”
“Oh, Artie. You’re always amazing to me.”
“C’mon, Mom. You know what I mean.”
“Yes, I know, Artie. But you are amazing… in the ways it counts. You’re kind and respectful. You study hard, get good grades, and you even help clean the church with the Youth Group. You spend time with your sister and you’re a great kid.”
“Stupid Goldie. He messed up my act.”
“Goldie isn’t stupid, Artie. Goldie did what gerbils do. And when it came down to a choice between ruining your act or letting Goldie run away, you ran after Goldie.”
“Yeah, I did.”
“That’s pretty amazing, Artie.”
“I guess so. Hey, Mom… they said my act was comical, right?”
“What if next year, I do a comedy routine? I can be The Artie Party. What do you think?”
“As long as Goldie stays home, I think that’ll be just fine.”
"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8 (KJV)
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