Duffer or Genius?


“You’re becoming square eyes,” Ben’s mother said for the hundredth time.

 He was so sick of hearing this. He turned his head ignoring his mother and carried on watching TV. Ben didn’t like going out much even though his friends frequently knocked on the door asking him if he wanted to play. He was well liked, joked around, but he had a serious side and worried a lot. At school the kids teased him in a nice way calling him a “duffer,” because he never got anything right. He had terrible difficulty in memorising so everything that went in went out in a second.

Year after year his teachers told Ben’s parents the same thing.

“Ben is such a lovely boy, but he can do better!”

His parents soon became so fed up that they stopped taking interest in Ben’s schoolwork.

Ben was also frustrated with his poor schoolwork. He hated being at the bottom of every subject. He understood when things were being explained and knew the answers, but as soon as he put pen to paper his thoughts got muddled up.

As he switched the channels trying to find something to watch, he stopped at a program that looked interesting. It was a game show involving word and number puzzles. The contestants had to construct a long word with given letters and use arithmetic to find a random number from six other numbers.  As he watched he realised that he had worked out all the answers before the contestants. His heart was thumping hard with excitement and shouted to his parents to come quickly. To their amazement Ben was getting all the answers right  in seconds.

The next day Ben and his parents marched proudly to school. His parents wanted all the teachers to know just how clever Ben really was. His teachers were baffled especially his Maths teacher.

After performing a series of tests they found that Ben’s mind worked in seconds. If he had to learn something that took longer than two minutes he couldn’t do it. His mind just worked differently from others.

His parents didn’t care how his mind worked. In their eyes he was the cleverest boy in the school and no longer the ‘duffer’.

Goodnight Sleep Tight

Angelica Galea Young


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