From Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul


It was time for the ice cream social fund-raiser that my small youth group had awaited for many months. The group consisted of five boys; one of them was Scott.

Scott always had a positive attitude. He looked on the bright side of things and never criticized anyone. But Scott was different from the rest of us. He was disabled. Oftentimes, he was unable to participate in activities. No one ever made fun of him to his face, but at times, people would snicker or stare in his presence. But Scott never worried; he just kept his head up high and ignored them.

Finally, the night of the ice cream social came. We rushed to the church basement and waited with scoopers in hand for the guests to arrive. One by one, people filed in, all hoping to get a nice, creamy glob of ice cream. But what they ended up getting was a hard, frozen mass. We waited for awhile for the ice cream to thaw, and eventually it did.

Once the ice cream thawed, we had another problem. It had melted into three pools of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. But we persisted in serving it. We all had our chance to serve, except for Scott. So, being as kind as possible, we gave Scott a chance to scoop and serve.

As soon as Scott gripped the scooper, our ice cream troubles turned into the World’s Greatest Ice Cream Massacre. Milky ice cream was flung in every direction. Scott wouldn’t stop. He kept scooping and scooping and scooping. Then, suddenly, in the thick of the chaos, Scott stopped. We looked at Scott. Scott looked at us. And that’s when I realized why he had stopped.

Scott was looking at a small, cute girl who entered the basement. Scott stated, “That’s m-m-my friend.” Our jaws fell open. The most beautiful girl we had seen all night was Scott’s friend.

We pushed Scott out of the way, hoping that we could get to serve her. But Scott just looked at us and said, “I-II want to scoop the ice cream for her.” We backed off.

The girl slowly approached him. Scott stood poised, ready to scoop again. The girl said, “Hi, Scott.”

“H-h-hi,” stuttered Scott.

She began to make conversation with him by saying, “Look. I got my new braces today.” She looked up and gave a wide, bright smile to show off her gleaming braces.

“Th-th-they’re neat,” responded Scott. The two carried on a short conversation then the girl sat down.

That night I realized that somebody had overlooked Scott’s problems and had seen him as a friendly, normal human being.

I realized something else, too. It was time for all of us to see Scott the same way.

David Ferino, twelve

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