In a small village there once lived a poor boy named Sammy. His mother died when he was an infant. His father worked hard to make ends meet in order to give the best education to his son. Sammy was in Standard V. His school was located in the town far away. Sammy had to walk miles to go to his school every day. Sammy had a classmate by name Patrick. Patrick was affluent. He had the habit of teasing Sammy for being poor.
One day, Patrick came to Sammy and began his usual insults at him.
“Oh, poor boy. You don’t even have proper clothes to wear. Look at me. I am richer and more intelligent than you”. Sammy, who usually bore Patrick’s insults with patience, couldn’t control his anger that particular day. He shouted at Patrick, “Don’t insult me! I am by no means inferior to you”.
“Of course you are. I can get anything I desire. But you can’t. You are a weakling and a failure. Don’t waste your precious time here. Go and help your father”, Patrick shot back.
Sammy was terribly wounded on hearing these cruel words. He asked Patrick, “Who said I’m a failure? I shall prove that I am more intelligent than you. I’ll score more marks than you in the next term exams. Dare to challenge me?”
Patrick was infuriated. “I don’t challenge weaklings like you. But in your case I will make an exception. I accept your challenge” he said and left the place, giving a cynical look at Sammy.
As the term exams were fast approaching, Sammy worked hard and concentrated more on his studies. But Patrick did not take the challenge seriously since he felt that it was impossible for Sammy to defeat him. The results were announced a week after the exams were over. Sammy had scored better than Patrick, also securing the first place in class. Patrick couldn’t believe it!
Sammy came to Patrick who was sitting quiet, his head bowed down in shame. He told Patrick, “For many days, you had embarrassed and ridiculed me. I challenged you and now you have lost the challenge. But I will not mock at you since I know how painful it would be. My only request to you is don’t ever underestimate anyone in your life henceforth”.
Patrick was moved by Sammy’s words. He apologized to Sammy and promised that he would follow his advice throughout his life. Soon, the duo became the best buddies!
- D. Simon Praveen Livingston