LAST ONE PICKED

It was recess time again. Micah hated recess time; particularly when they were going to play competition games like dodge ball, kickball and such. It was a very embarrassing time for him. He seemed always to be picked last while his friend Kevin was one of the first ones “snatched up” by the captain that won the coin toss. Kevin was good at anything done at recess. He was good at dodge ball, kickball, four square and other games that his third grade class played. Micah was pretty smart about most of the things done in the classroom though. He could do his homework before leaving class most often. Arithmetic and spelling were his strong points. He believed he read more than most of his classmates too. He was also taller than most of his classmates. It could be thought that since he was so big he would be more athletic but it worked against him. He was not very coordinated when it came to catching the ball or hitting it most of the time. He would ‘foul out’ about every time.
Sure enough, he was picked nearly at the last. That was because Kevin whispered something to the captain that picked him. Micah still hung his head as he sauntered over to his assigned team. He knew that his peers were reluctant in picking him and he could not blame them. He tried really hard to improve but his body was against him. It really hurt when his team lost because of his “screw up”. They would harass him relentlessly. Sometimes he would say “sorry” but most of the time he was just silent.
They would mimic him until the teacher would silence them. Even then his ‘teammates’ would continue to ‘lip sync’ the words. The worse thing about the taunting was that he was attending a charter school that was sponsored by his church. Not only would he get the harassment during school days but sometimes on Sunday as well.
He wasn’t the only fellow that got picked on. Jonathan got picked on because he was “chubby”. He was sometimes clumsy but he was good at dodge ball and kickball. Jonathan didn’t pick on Micah but gave him a ‘knowing look’. It was a look of understanding. Jonathan was the pastor’s nephew, Pastor Pete’s sister’s son. Jonathan’s dad had lost his life in an automobile accident two years ago. Both his mother and he lived with Pastor Pete and his family. His cousins resented him being there because he was an “intruder”. The parsonage was not a large house so all the children had to double up after Jonathan and his mother came to live there.
The game started well for his team and that made Micah happy. He had even helped get two outs against the other team and now it was his team’s turn to “kick”. Micah was eighth in the lineup to ‘kick. They now had two runs and two outs. Jonathan was up to kick next. Two of his team were on base, waiting to make the run to the next bases. Jonathan made a good kick, sending the ball just right of third base. By the time Jonathan made first one of the team runners made third and second base.
It was Micah’s turn next. The bases were loaded. There was a lot of murmuring among his team mates on the side. Micah was nervous. The ‘pitcher’ of the other team was grinning. This was going to be an easy ‘out’ and there team would be next up to play the ‘field’. Micah was getting sick to his stomach.
“I-I can’t” Micah told the captain, “I don’t feel well”.
That made the other team call out with taunts, ‘Scaredy cat’ and ‘chicken’ were amongst the worded taunts.
Kevin came up and whispered “Try, Micah”. Micah nodded and readied himself at the plate to kick.
The first ball came in fast and Micah fouled the ball. The second ball came in even faster. Once again Micah kicked a foul. The third ball seemed to come in even faster and the curled off to the right just be fore Micah made contact with it and passed on by him. It was his first strike.
There were murmurs of ‘O man’ and ‘Geesh’. That made Micah mad. How many times that they might have missed the same type of throw.
The next ball came in bouncing wildly but Micah managed to kick it. The ball lifted in the air and came down near the second base man. He would have caught it in mid air but the runner knocked him off the base as he touched in from first base. Micah made it to first base and one runner had made it home but the third base runner was tagged out. That inning was over and Micah sauntered out to the outfield.

They had placed him deep in an area that few balls would be kicked to. It was the third ball that had made it to that rare part of the outfield. When it came down , it landed twenty feet in front of Micah and then bounced over his head by three feet. That miss had cost his team all three runners to make home base. The opposing team was up three points past his team now, seven to four. There had been no outs as of yet. The next two runners kicked the ball but were tagged out. Their best player was now up to kick. His foot made contact with the ball and once again the ball somehow made it to Micah’s deep position . This time Micah was ready and caught the ball on first bounce and then sent it off to the second base man. Unfortunately the second base man wasn’t paying attention and it passed overhead and landed near the pitcher. He was quick and took it and tossed a quick ‘out’ by tagging the big runner on his shoulder blades. It was Micah’s team once again to be up to kick.

LAST ONE PICKED

Thomas Josiah Chappelle

Oxford, United States

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Artist's Description

Fifth Grade reader level

Artwork Comments

  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
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