The Drummer Boy

[Short Story, 5 minute read]

There was once a young boy who decided to take a risk and join his schools marching band.

“What do you want to play?” asked his kindly music teacher

“I don’t know. I’ve never played an instrument.” Replied the boy

So the two meet after school and try all the instruments in the band room to see what the boy liked.

Trumpet, flute, piano, and violin.

Bass, tuba, viola, and even basson.

The boy didn’t care for any of them.

“Well I have one last idea,” The band director pulled out a small snare drum and placed it in front of the boy.

The boy picked up a pair of sticks and tapped away at the instrument. As he played, his grin grew wider and wider with every beat until his smile reached from ear to ear.

The music instructor joined in his glee and gave him the drum. “Bring that to practice tomorrow and try not to drive your parents too crazy with it!”

The boy hugged the teacher and ran off with his brand-new instrument.

However, the kindly teacher noticed a problem when the boy came to class the next day.

The boy had no sense of rhythm and kept throwing off the students around him.

“Did you have fun today?” asked the teacher after class.

The boy nodded emphatically

“You’re going to go home and practice right?”

“Every day for the rest of my life!” the boy shouted with a toothy grin

‘He’s new,’ thought the instructor as he patted the boy’s head ‘He will learn with time.’

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, but the boy showed no improvement.

“Are you still enjoying that drum?” asked the kindly teacher

“More than anything!” The boy replied tucking in his prized instrument into its special bag

“And your practicing?”

“Every day!”

The teacher believed him and knew he had a hard decision to make. The band had to perform soon and the boy, though easily the most motivated, still had no rhythm and could hardly play.

The obvious answer was to excuse him from the class, but the boy loved his drum so much.

“How about after school we practice together?” suggested the instructor

“Together? Really?” The boy had sparkles in his eyes

So they did just that. Every day after school for an hour the boy would join his mentor and work on a song.

Hours turned to days and days into weeks, but the boy could still not carry a tune.

“Early again I see?” the teacher walked into the band room for his daily practice session.

“Yes sir!” the boy’s snare was on it’s stand in front of him and sticks at the ready. Eager for a new lesson.

But the boy’s joy faded when he saw that his music teacher didn’t bring his drum to play with him.

The instructor, with a heavy heart, explained to the boy why he needed to leave the class.

The boy did not protest. He did not wine or cry. He did something far worse.

The young boy’s face drooped with pure sorrow. He merely packed up his little drum and walked out without another word.

Often times the kindly teacher would see the boy, still practicing on his little snare drum outside the classroom. Even still, when the boy played his drum, his face would glow brighter than the sun.

“I know you’re not in my class anymore, but would you like to continue our lessons after school?”

The boy looked up at his former mentor and smiled his toothy grin “More than anything!”

Every day, after school, the two would meet in the band room and play their drums till their hearts were content.

“Excuse me, sir?” A tall boy asked his kindly teacher while the others packed up their instruments after class.

“Yes?” replied the instructor

“I was wondering, who is the best student in class?”

The teacher shook his head “Is that something you really want to know?”

All the students stood still, ear perked up. Eager to hear their name so they could brag to their friends.

All was silent, except for the faint tapping of a snare drum drifting in from the hallway.

The kindly teacher smiled and pointed to the hallway door “Him.”

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