Average Joe

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Reimer
Average Joe is an eight year old boy who wants to be different. He thinks that being taller or smarter or faster is better until he realizes that being who he is and balanced is the best that he can be.

Submitted: December 14, 2016

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Submitted: December 14, 2016

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Every morning, Joe would walk to school really fast, but most times he would still arrive late and exhausted.

One morning Joe decided, I will make it on time to class today. He cut through the Sports hall, but then his coach saw him and said in a pleasant manner: “Good morning, Joe. No need to rush, I know you are average in speed.”

Average? Joe thought. What’s that supposed to mean? Is that good or bad? Since he was already late, he went to class without asking Coach what he had meant.

After school, Joe had chorus practice. The music teacher Mr. Bell, decided to move all the students into positions depending on the pitch of their voices. He put the high voices on the right and the low voices on the left.

When he came to Joe, Mr. Bell said, “Joe, your voice is not so high anymore, yet it hasn’t fully dropped either. It is about average. Why don’t you move right here, to the middle.”

Average? There’s that word again! Thought Joe. But then they had to sing scales, and he couldn’t ask Mr. Bell what he had meant.

When he was back home, Joe found his mother at the dining table, reading. He asked her, “Mama, do you think I’m tall?”

She looked up and said softly, “I think you’re average in height, Joe.”

Joe heard his father walking in from work and ran to him. After he greeted him, Joe asked, “Papa, do you think I’m tall?”

His father stretched his hand on top of Joe’s head and measured him with one eye shut. “I’d say you must be average in height, Joe,” he concluded.

Average again? Thought Joe.

During dinner, Joe asked his parents, “What does average really mean?”

Not thinking much about it, they said, “It means ‘regular.’”

His older brother, Andrew, who was tall and fast, said in his deep voice, “It means ordinary.” Smiling wickedly, he whispered, “It means that you are not special.”

Joe was so upset that after dinner he went straight to his room. He stood by the window and looked at the full moon.

“I don’t want to be ordinary! That sounds dull and boring. I want to be tall and have a deep voice and run fast. I want to be special.” He wished and wished so hard, that he could be as tall as the moon.

He must have fallen asleep while wishing because in the morning when he woke he realized he was not sleeping in his bed. He was outside in a field! People wandered all around him, staring at him. They were as small as ants and he was as enormous as a giant!

He stood up, trying not to take up too much space. He was so tall he could reach the moon! But his excitement was short lived, because he couldn’t breathe in space.

He stood on his hands instead. Now he could see the people, although upside down. They started coming closer to him. Even the cows in the field began to graze the grass around his hands.

“Hello!” Joe said to them. But when he spoke, his voice was so loud and so deep that the earth shook. The people and the cows started running away. He tried to tell them to stop but when he heard his own deep, deep voice he was frightened himself. He sounded like a scary giant!

Alone in the field, he didn’t feel very special. He felt lonely and tired from standing on his hands.

“Perhaps it’s possible to be a bit too tall?” Joe wondered aloud. “I wished for the wrong thing, that’s it! I wish to be a really fast runner so I can run out of here faster than lightning. Then people will be so amazed with my speed, they will forget my height and low voice!”

Joe stood back on his feet and decided to try it. He ran and ran. As he ran, he became less tall. It was working!

Soon he ran through a different country, and another, and then another. He realized he was too fast for the people to see him. They just felt a strong breeze blowing through the streets.

“Perhaps it’s possible to be a bit too fast?” he wondered aloud.

He ran and ran, unable to stop! He had lost count of how many times he had gone around the earth. Then he felt his feet burning and looked down. His feet had caught fire! He needed to cool them off so he ran through the Atlantic Ocean and then through the Pacific, but he still couldn’t stop.

“Normally everyone gets three wishes,” he gasped. “I wish to be my regular self again!”

As soon as he said it, he ran into a mountainside and hit his head so hard that he fell to the ground.

When he woke up, he was back in his bed, and he fit perfectly. He was his average height again!

“Boy, I had no idea that being too much of something can also be bad,” he said to himself. “Being average is good and just right!”

That sunny morning Joe went to school ready to have a regular, average day.

During Sports, the coach asked the students to run a few laps. “Today we are going to do a long run, so try to keep a steady pace.”

Most kids ran too fast and were too tired to finish the laps. Other kids took too long and did not complete them either. But Joe ran not too fast and not too slow, and he was able to complete the laps without getting tired.

The coach congratulated Joe with a strong pat on the back, saying. “Well done, Joe. A steady pace is the way to go!”

So being average means being steady! Joe thought proudly.

After school, during chorus, Mr. Bell saw Joe beaming and asked, “Why so happy, Joe?”

“I’m happy to be myself again, Mr. Bell.”

Mr. Bell gave him a puzzled look but then said in his re-assuring manner, “Well, that’s good, Joe, because we need you in this class. You see, with your average pitch, you have a very important place in our chorus. In the middle, you tie the high and the low voices together and maintain a balanced sound.”

So being average means to be balanced! Joe thought with excitement.

Joe went home happy that day, feeling special. During dinner with his family, he shared his new discovery.

“Mama, Papa, I thought being called average meant something bad before, but now I understand that it is me being the best I can be. I am special and I am happy with who I am.” Joe raised his chin and turned to his brother. “Andrew, what you said about me being ordinary doesn’t bother me anymore.” Joe put on a wide grin and said to all, “In fact, from now on, you can call me Average Joe”.

 


© Copyright 2017 Kat Reimer. All rights reserved.

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