The Magic Glove
By Alexis Leno
Bernie Last was a small eleven-year-old who usually walked with his head hung low and his red baseball cap hanging over his eyes. He was shy mostly because of his last name. The other kids loved to make fun of Bernie and usually picked him last for sports.
“If your last name was First, then we’d pick you first!” they would yell.
Bernie would blush and tried to stay away from playing with the other kids. During recess he sat on the swings dragging his feet in the sand as he pushed it slowly back and forth. No one bothered Bernie. They were all too busy playing hopscotch, football, or baseball. Bernie didn’t mind too much either. He wasn’t really good at sports so he didn’t mind not having to play them.
One day, Bernie couldn’t avoid playing sports. It was gym class and all of the kids were split into teams and for the first time Bernie wasn’t picked last. Mr. Sandy had divided them up and told them they would be playing baseball. Bernie had never played baseball before but he found that he was excited to learn how.
The teacher, Mr. Sandy, showed all of the kids outside to the small baseball field. He gave each kid a baseball glove and they started with the basics. Mr. Sandy would throw the ball to each kid, he or she would catch it, and then throw it back. Bernie didn’t seem to be too great at catching the ball, but neither did most of the kids.
Next, Mr. Sandy showed them all how to hit. He would pitch the ball underhand and each kid would swing and hit it. Bernie learned that he was good at hitting the ball and he hit it almost every time.
“I think we’re ready to have a game.” Mr. Sandy said.
Bernie went to get his glove but he realized that it was missing. He walked over to Mr. Sandy and told him. Mr. Sandy thought a moment and reached into the bag pulling out an old-looking brown glove. Bernie looked at it and didn’t really think it was any good. It looked like it was going to fall apart at any second.
“This is a special glove.” Mr. Sandy told him. “I think you’ll like it.”
Bernie shrugged and ran back to the outfield. As the ball was hit towards him and Bernie tried to catch it. The sun was in his eyes but he stuck his hand straight out and plop! The ball landed right into the glove!
“Good Job, Bernie!” the kids yelled.
Bernie smiled and looked at the glove in a new way. He turned it over as if he was trying to memorize exactly what it looked like.
“I know,” he thought, “I’m going to call it my magic glove!”
Nothing could upset Bernie for the rest of gym class. He felt that he had found the best thing in his life. He caught every ball that was thrown to him and he smiled in victory each time.
At the end of gym class Mr. Sandy called all of the kids together on the field. They put away all of their gloves and bats. Bernie put away the magic glove with some hesitation. He didn’t want to give it up, but he knew he had to. Mr. Sandy had said so. He put it into the bag slowly as Mr. Sandy began to talk.
“That was a great game. How about we do the same thing next class?”
“Yes!” The kids cheered.
Bernie felt happy that he would get to play with the magic glove next gym class. Later at recess the kids asked Bernie to play baseball with them, but he said no and returned to the swing where he spent most of his recess’. He was afraid to play without the magic glove, but he didn’t want anyone else to know that.
The next day Bernie was excited for gym class. Mr. Sandy split them up into their same teams again and Bernie searched the bag for the magic glove. He looked through the whole bag, almost turning it inside out, before realizing it was missing. He went up to Mr. Sandy and asked him about it.
“Oh, I’m sorry Bernie. That glove fell apart yesterday in another gym class. It seemed a little tattered.” he said.
“But that’s my magic glove!” Bernie answered.
“Bernie, what makes you think that?” Mr. Sandy asked curiously.
“Because I can only catch the ball with that glove!” he frowned.
“Bernie, a glove doesn’t make you a better player. You do. You could always catch the ball. You just needed the confidence to do it. And now you have it.” Mr. Sandy reassured him and handed him a brand new glove.
Bernie looked at the glove with a frown still on his face. He didn’t know what to do with it, but he nodded and ran out into the outfield. He stood in right field for awhile before someone hit the ball his way.
The same thing happened again. A fly ball came his way and the sun was shining brightly in his eyes. He squinted against the sun and stuck his hand straight out in the air. Before he knew it, he felt the familiar PLOP! into his glove and he held it out with a smile on his face.
The kids cheered as Bernie threw the ball back to the pitcher. As the third out came, the kids on Bernie’s team ran into the dugout. Mr. Sandy came and patted him on the back.
“See, I knew you could do it all along, Bernie.” he said.
“Yes! I guess I could!” Bernie answered.
Bernie realized that day that the glove wasn’t magical. He realized that he didn’t need a certain glove to catch a ball. He could do it all on his own.
© Alexis Leno 2004