Playground

There once was boy called Martin. Martin was a precocious lad, who loved to play on playgrounds. Whenever he didn’t have a playground, he made one. Just give him a tree, or some furniture, even a pile of junk, and he would transform it into a place of enjoyment and discovery!

One year, Martin started attending a new school with kids his age. But this school had no playground equipment except a sandbox, which kids of all ages would go and play in during recess. Martin had played on swings, jungle gyms, hanging bars, slides, bounce houses, and sandboxes too. He saw the kids playing in the sandbox and all he could think was, “If only I could give them a chance to play on some of the equipment I get to play on. They’d love it! They’d have so much fun and grow bigger and stronger like I’m growing.” So Martin asked his parents, and they agreed to rent some new playground equipment for a day.

The next day, three new pieces of playground equipment showed up in the school yard. Martin was so excited. He couldn’t wait to see how his friends would react. At recess, he gathered around all his friends, and explain the rules and how to play on the swings, and how to swing from the monkey bars, and how to slide on the slides, and bounce on the bounce houses. And Martin was jumping right into the fun while he was demonstrating.

But when he turned around, he noticed that nobody was playing with him. The just stared at him. They weren’t used to such big equipment. Martin was hoping they would try it out and discover the fun for themselves, like he had. Some of them tried some of the gravel pieces around the base. Some even climbed around and tried the slide once or twice. But they all stood and watched.

Martin stared at them with open mouth. Why weren’t they playing? Didn’t they know this equipment was so much more fun than the sandbox? He even dragged some kids over and pushed them on the swings, but they were missing their friends and they ran back to the sandbox.

Our little precocious lad was disheartened. He didn’t want to play all by himself. He knew that this was A LOT more fun than the sandbox, but it was no fun without other kids to play with. He went home and cried to his parents. They understood, being wise parents, and told him that he should find a way to have fun in the sandbox with the other kids.

So, the next day at recess, Martin joined the kids playing in the sandbox, except this time, he brought a bucket of water with him. He smiled as he was determined to still create something even more fun out of this sandbox. Spilling some of the water on the ground, he made mud and started forming things out of the mud. The other kids watched and then started to play with him. Each one got down on their hands and knees and started making little houses, and bridges, tunnels, and streets. Everybody had an amazing time. And from then on, Martin was happy to play with his friends in the sandbox, still hoping that some day, the other kids would want more than the sandbox, and upgrade next year to just one piece of equipment. Maybe a ball-pit!

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