Gwen's Odd Ball Day

The long lazy days of summer have finally arrived.
The bright rays of the sun had warmed the earth and with
the help of the gentle summer rain, the crops and
trees are growing and bearing ripe fruits and vegetables.
Everything is as it should be Gwen thought as she sat
under the big willow tree on the bank of the pond. The
summer heat had warmed the little pond just enough that
it felt refreshing and cool when she dangled her
toes into the water. This was a perfect place to
just sit and daydream! That was one of Gwens’ favorite
pass times. She thought about all sorts of things
sitting there under “her tree”.

Gwen decided that maybe she would gather some of the
smooth colored stones that were laying around the pond.
She liked the shiny ones best. She liked the way they
sparkled in the sunlight. “Boy, those would be perfect
for my collection!” Gwen had a lot of collections.
She collected stones and shells and pieces
of colored glass and sticks and strings. Actually,
she collected almost anything that you could imagine.
“You just never know when you’ll need one of these!”
That was what she would tell her friends when they
taunted her for being such an odd ball.
Oddball? What the heck is an oddball she wondered?

When she had a nice little pile of pretty rocks, she
made a carrier out of her skirt and off she went toward
her house. First Gwen carried the stones into the kitchen.
She took each one in turn and held them under the
running water in her moms kitchen sink. When they were
all done, she took them back out to the porch and put
them in a tidy row for the bright sun to dry them off.
She sat sipping a glass of lemonade and waited.
She waited until the stones were dry and warm.
She waited until she thought they had absorbed
all of the suns energy that they wanted.

Gwen carefully gathered her new stones and carried them
off into her bedroom. In the corner her mommy had put an
old round table that she had found in the
rafters of their barn. It was just right for Gwen’s rocks
and things. Gwen placed her stones oh so carefully
in a circle right around the edge of her table.
Right around the small piles of shells and strings
and shiny colored glass. No matter how she placed them,
she always ended up with one extra stone.
It was always the same stone too. It just didn’t look right,
no matter where in the circle she placed it.
“Hmmmmmm, I guess you’re just an odd ball
like me,” Gwen said.

“That is kinda weird.” The very same thing happened the
other day when she had picked up all of those twigs from
under the apple tree. No matter how she stacked them,
there was always that one that just didn’t fit.
She walked over and picked up the extra twig.
“I don’t know why you don’t fit into the stack?
You are a fine strong piece of wood! A twig that would
make any tree proud!” And what about that piece
of silver cord? The one that kept floating off of
the table and landing on the floor. That was a bit
odd too she had to admit. Gwen gathered up
her oddball stone, and the twig, and finally
that piece of cord that was on the floor again.
She went to ask her mom what made them different than
the others. She wanted to know why they
just didn’t seem to fit into the collections.

She went into the kitchen and found mom and aunt Star
busy washing the vegetables that they had just picked.
She didn’t want to interrupt them so she went on out
to the barn to look for her daddy. Nope! He wasn’t there.
Then all of a sudden,she heard a tap, tap, tap coming
from the workshop. “That’s where he is.Probably
making something grand for our little house.”

Gwen went to the door and peered inside.
Just as she thought, there was her daddy
working on a new wooden top for the old altar that
they kept in the den. It was coming along nicely Gwen
thought. The carvings were beautiful!
Moons and stars and pentacles and the most
wonderful dragon right in the center. Oh, she couldn’t
wait until it was finished! Daddy had out
done himself this time.

When he saw Gwen at the door, he stopped working. He
grinned at her and asked what she had brought for
him. “Well, you see daddy, these things are oddballs!”
“Oddballs? Where in goddess name did you pick up
that word?” he asked. “Gwen sat down and explained.
“Some of my friends say that when something is
different or don’t fit in, that it’s an oddball.
These things are the same as the
others but they still don’t fit.
Like me daddy, I’m almost like my friends,
but they still call me an oddball.”

Gwen’s daddy reached out and hugged her tight and smiled.
“Gwen, let me tell you something. Every person and
thing is almost the same, but we all have
our little differences. That doesn’t make you odd or strange.
It doesn’t make you right or wrong. It just makes
you who and what you are.
Everything under that bright yellow sun that lives
and breathes on our mother earth
is special in it’s own way. Sometimes things don’t fit,
and sometimes things stand out away from the crowd.
But remember, that doesn’t make it odd,
it makes it special!”

“Well, how about this rock? And what about this twig
and cord? They just don’t fit and they won’t stay put,”
Gwen asked. “Let me see them” She handed the
“special” pieces to her daddy. “Maybe they don’t want to
be a part of the group Gwen. Maybe there
is a better use for them. Lets see
what we can do here.”
Her daddy took out his pocketknife and started to carve
on the little twig. He whittled and carved and
hollowed out the end. He took the stone
and polished it with a big soft cloth from
his workbench. When it was as shiny as shiny
could be, he placed it into the hollow tip
of the twig. Then he took the pretty silver cord
and wrapped it round and round and bound the
stone to the twig. Gwen was amazed!
“Oh daddy! You made a beautiful wand out of
those oddball pieces that didn’t fit in.”

“You gathered those certain pieces because they
called to you. They didn’t fit into your groups
and you thought that they were odd. They are special Gwen,
they had a different destiny than the others.
They are still a twig, and a stone,
and a shiny silver cord. But by putting
them together in a different group, look
what they have become! There are all
kinds of groups. Just because you might not fit
in one, doesn’t mean that you are odd.
It just means that there is a different path
for you to follow.” Gwen finally understood.
She hugged her daddy and gave him the sweetest peck on his cheek.
She picked up her special new wand and ran off toward
the house to show her mom!

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