Editor’s note: Gayle Gould, a retired school teacher, wrote this column as a tribute to teachers, and to thank them for their hard work and dedication in helping children live their dreams. We are proud to share this with our readers. Mrs. Gould and her husband Rick reside at 621 Fairview Road, Rockdale.—B.C. O nce there was a little boy who was full of dreams. He dreamed he was an astronaut blasting off in a rocket ship, a knight fighting a fire-breathing dragon, a race car driver flying down the race track at 200 miles an hour, or a cowboy sleeping on the ground by a roaring campfire.
But he couldn’t live his dreams because they were on the other side of a tall brick wall which he couldn’t climb. Every day he would stand at the bottom, looking up with longing. “There’s got to be a way over,” he thought. Then he realized that if he had a ladder, he could use it to climb. Excitedly he ran to find one.
Coming back, dragging the tall ladder, he leaned it against the wall. Carefully he began to climb. As he reached the second step the ladder began to quiver and shake. With each step the ladder shook more until it fell to the ground beside him.
The boy got up and looked closely at the wall. He noticed that it was full of holes.”That’s why it won’t hold up the ladder,” he said. He sat down to figure out what to do next. It was then that he remembered the brick maker who lived on the edge of town.
“Please Mr. Brick Maker,” said the little boy. “Make me some bricks to fill the holes in the wall so that I can climb to the top and live my dreams.”
The brick maker looked kindly at the little boy. “Son,” he said, “I can’t make the bricks for you.” As he saw the look of disappointment on the boy’s face, he hesitated and then said, “But if you are willing to work hard and listen carefully to my instructions, Ill teach you how to make your own bricks.”
The boy’s face shone with excitement “Oh, yes! I’ll do exactly what you say and I won’t give up even when I want to!”
So, day after day the little boy and the brick maker worked together to make the bricks to fill the holes. There were times when the little boy was tired of working so hard, but he never gave up. There were times when the brick maker was tired, too, but he wouldn’t stop. Then the day came when they stood back together to look at the wall and saw to their amazement that all of the holes had been filled.
The boy quickly ran to get the ladder and slowly began to climb. With each step the ladder stayed strong. As he climbed, the boy didn’t notice the tears in the brick maker’s eyes. With his heart beating faster and faster he kept going until he reached the top. He looked over the wall for the first time and what he saw nearly took his breath away.
He saw himself as an astronaut blasting off in a rocket ship. He saw himself fighting a fire-breathing dragon, driving around a race track going 200 miles an hour and as a cowboy sleeping on the ground by a roaring campfire.
He was living his dreams!
He looked down to thank the brick maker, but he was gone. The little boy never saw the brick maker again, but he knew that he had been given a wonderful gift—the gift to be whatever he dreamed he could be.
You see, the little boy represents the children whose lives you teachers touch each year. The bricks in the wall are the skills they need in order to learn. The ladder is all of the books waiting to be read.
And as for the brick maker, well, that’s you, the teachers who teach our children how to make and use bricks to make their dreams come true.