Jonah’s Special Talent

by Alicia McHugh -

“I can’t sing, I can’t dance, and I don’t think I can twirl a baton.”  Jonah plopped onto the bus seat next to his best friend, Thomas. “What else is there?” Jonah complained.

“What are you talking about?” Thomas asked.

“My class talent show. I have no talent,” Jonah explained. “You’re lucky you have Mr. Hill and you don’t need a talent.  You just have to write a poem or something, right?”

“Well, we have...,” Thomas started.

“I wish I had Mr. Hill. I have to turn in a talent by Monday. What am I going to do?” Jonah asked. Thomas stared at him. “Hello, Thomas. I said ‘what am I going to do?’” Jonah asked again.

“Oh sorry, I wasn’t sure if you were finished,” Thomas said, smiling.

Jonah was by far the most talkative boy in the third grade. School legend had it that if Jonah went more than a minute without talking, his cheeks would puff out and steam would whistle out of his ears like a tea kettle. Last year, Jonah had been sent to the “quiet zone” so often that his classmates started calling it the “Jonah zone.”

“Dean, Mark and Seamus have a band. I wish I played an instrument,” Jonah continued. “Francis is playing the accordion.”

“What’s an accordion?” Thomas asked.

“No clue,” shrugged Jonah. “I’m not sure what Rhoda and Rosemary are doing, or Henry, or….”

“Jonah, quit talking and move,” Tim the bus driver bellowed over his shoulder. “It’s your stop.”

Jonah scrambled out of his seat, pounced down the aisle and out the bus doors. From the window, Thomas watched Jonah walk away still talking to himself.

“Mom, he’s driving me crazy. He’s been following me around all afternoon going on about some silly talent show,” Lucy, Jonah’s sister, complained, taking her seat at the dinner table. “I locked him out of my room but he just talked through the door.”

“Clog dancing, no, juggling, no, yodeling, no, target spitting, well?” Jonah looked at his mother who was shaking her head. “No, I guess.”

“Just think about what you’re good at Jonah and do that,” his mother said, scooping peas onto his plate...

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