Charlie bent over his work, his little tongue licking his lips like a squirrel who can’t decide which direction to go when a car heads toward it. He carefully followed the direction of the arrows which told him how to form the cursive letters. After writing an uppercase L, he raised his head and grinned at me with wide excited eyes.
“What if the bottom of the L just kept going,” he flipped through the pages of his workbook to the end, “all the way through all the lines to the end of the book? That would be sooo crazy!”
I humored him with a smile. My practical, grown-up mind tried to fathom the world-changing implications of an L with a tail long enough to fill a whole workbook. It was beyond my capabilities.
Even with the threat of long-tailed Ls, I was just happy he wanted to learn cursive. I could remember being exactly his age and wanting to write that way, but my school didn’t teach cursive until second grade. I could join up all the letters of my first name, except for the S. My first-grade teacher had to ask me to stop.
William wanted to learn when he was in first grade too, and I knew I would have to be the one to teach him. But I made him wait. I had to wait. Even the workbook said that it was for third to fourth grade. So we waited. And now he’s no longer interested.
I wasn’t going to make that mistake with Charlie.
When he got to the end of the page, I pulled out his Starbuck’s chocolate cake pop from it’s little paper bag and let him have another bite…
What He Looks Like
Always smiling. John is a man who takes everything in stride. It takes a lot to crush his spirit. It doesn’t really matter what he looks like because he’s simply likable.
His Part to Play
Turlough knows that Bresal is right. He needs to be sober for this particular journey, but he’s not used to soberness. John’s lighthearted candor helps distract Turlough better than Bresal’s deep intellectual knowledge. But Bresal sees John’s company as problematic because they can’t tell him anything about immortal druids or faeries. But John has a secret of his own…
What He Means to the Story
John is a supporting character. Though his role is small, he is significant. He is observant and without him the story might have ended very differently.
John loves a joke as much as Turlough. Sometimes, it’s a bit inopportune. He and Turlough pull a prank on Breasal and while it hinders the start of their day’s journey, it does attract somewhat helpful attention.
John loves a joke as much as Turlough. Here again is a character who’s failing is also his strength. We would all slide into deep depressions if we could not see a glint of comedy in the most dire of adventures. It’s the fun in life that gives us purpose and makes us keep going. John reminds Turlough of this many times.
I’d Love To Hear From You!
Do you have a friend like John? Someone who always seems to smile no matter what? Do you have a friend who’s antics sometimes get in the way? How dull will your life be without them?