The Day The Boiler Broke.

The last of my submissions to


"I didn't want to wake you!"


It was a cold winter morning, and there was frost outside. The boy's mother prepared breakfast as usual, but she was quieter than most mornings. He thought that maybe she was mad at him about something, but he thought it best not to ask.

As the young boy was getting ready to set off for school, his mother climbed the stairs. He asked her where she was going, and she said that she had a headache, and she was going back to bed to try and sleep it off. He closed the door quietly and cycled off to school. "Well at least she wasn't mad at me!" he thought to himself.


When he got to the school, the building was freezing cold. Pupils were still wearing their coats inside the classroom. Before classes could start, the principal announced over the P.A. system that the school had run out of heating oil, and since they could not heat the building, they were going to send everybody home. Amid much jubilation by his fellow students, the boy cycled home.


When he got there, he put his bicycle in the garage as usual, but as he was leaving the garage, he stopped in the doorway, thought for a moment, and turned round to go back into the garage. He spent the next two hours or so fiddling about with the stacks of junk in the garage, piles of old tools and stuff that his magpie of a father could never bring himself to throw out. He knew that he could always find something in that garage to amuse himself. He had always loved messing with broken clocks and other machines, and to his active imagination that garage was a treasure trove. When he heard sounds from inside the house, he knew his mother was starting to make lunch, so he went and rang the doorbell for her to let him in, because they didn't let him have his own key yet.


His mother was surprised to see him home from school, and asked him why he was back so soon. When he told her about the heating, she asked him where he had been in the time since being released from school. He told her he had spent the time messing about in the garage.


"Why were you waiting in the garage, it must have been freezing out there? Why didn't you ring the bell?" she asked him. His reply surprised her; "I didn't want to wake you!"


Some people might hear that story and say it was a wonderful thing that the young boy thought it more important to let his mother rest than to consider his own comfort. Many might praise his considerate nature. The boy, on the other hand, thought it was the natural thing to do.


Copyright (C) 1997-2011 A.Keyes All Rights Reserved.

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