Who did Patrick's homework?
An adaptation of a story by Carole Moore
Patrick never did homework. "Too boring," he said. He played baseball and basketball and Wii instead. His teachers told him, "Do your homework or you won't learn a thing." And it's true sometimes he did feel like a ding-a-ling. But what could he do? He hated homework.
One day, his cat was playing with a little doll and he grabbed it away. To his surprise, it wasn't a doll at all, but a tiny little man. He was wearing a little wool shirt with little britches and a high tall hat much like a witch's. He yelled, "Save me! Don't give me back to that cat. I'll grant you a wish, I promise you that."
Patrick couldn't believe how lucky he was! Here was the answer to all of his problems. So he said, "Only if you do all my homework 'til the end of the semester. If you do a good enough job, I could even get A's."
The little man's face wrinkled like a dishcloth thrown in the hamper. He kicked his legs and doubled his fists and he grimaced and scowled and pursed his lips, "Oh, am I cursed! But I'll do it." True to his word, the little elf began to do Patrick's homework except there was one glitch. The elf didn't always know what to do and he needed help. "Help me! Help me!" he'd say. "I don't know this word," the elf squeaked while reading Patrick's homework. "Get me a dictionary. No, better still look up the word and sound it out by each letter."
When it came to math, Patrick was out of luck. "What are times tables?" the elf shrieked. "We elves never need that. What are addition, subtraction, division and fractions? Here, sit down beside me, you simply must guide me."
Elves know nothing of human history; to them it's a mystery. So the little elf, already a shouter, just got louder, "Go to the library; I need books; more and more books. And you can help me read them too."
As a matter of fact, every day in every way, that little elf was a nag! Patrick was working harder than ever and was it a drag! He was staying up nights, had never felt so tired. He was going to school with his eyes puffed and bleary.
Finally, the last day of school arrived and the elf was free to go. As for homework, there was no more, so he quietly slipped out the back door. Patrick got his A's; his classmates were amazed; his teachers smiled and were full of praise. His parents wondered what had happened to Patrick. He was now the model kid. Cleaned his room, did his chores, was cheerful, never rude.
You see, in the end, Patrick still thought he'd made that tiny man do all his homework; when in fact, the Elf had made Patrick do it himself.