Every one of us is made just that little bit different to the next person. It’s what makes us all special. Sometimes we are happy with our little special differences and sometimes it can make someone unhappy.
And so it was with Tommy. Since the day he was born he had what the doctor called, a cleft lip. When he looked in the mirror Tommy felt so very different from his friends. There were times in the village when he saw people staring at his lip. His grandmother used to tell him that no one else was that special and so they passed through unnoticed, but her little grandson, Tommy would always be someone to notice.
But as time went on, Tommy became more and more aware of his differences and he wanted it all to stop. So one day in August, he went to his room and stayed there. His mother would have to bring his food to his room and Tommy didn’t want to join the rest of his family. He was schooled in his room and he no longer wanted to go to school.
At night when the moon was full, Tommy would sit at the window and wish with all his heart that he were just like everyone else. And then he would hum a little tune to himself.
Tommy grew big and tall but every night he would still go to the window and sing songs loudly across the valley. It made Tommy feel good and less different.
What Tommy didn’t know was that the villagers in the valley below would listen to his signing and they all thought it was the most beautiful music in the world. To the villagers it was the breath of an angel.
The mayor of the village sent out a group of men to find the source of the signing that made everyone so happy, but they failed. They came to Tommy’s house but his mother didn’t mention Tommy as she thought that it could never be him and anyway he was always locked up in his room.
Then the day came when his grandmother died and the whole family attended the funeral in the village. Tommy wore a large hat to hide his face, the one that he considered so ugly.
Tommy was very sad as they lowered his grandmother into the ground, so much so that he sang a song for her. He sand loud across the land and all the villagers heard him and they knew this was the boy who gave them so much pleasure.
Tommy continued to sing to stop himself feeling so sad, and as he sung his hat fell from his head. When he stopped he saw that everyone was looking at him. Tommy started to run for home until the mayor of the village told Tommy to stop.
The mayor told Tommy that he sang like an angel and that his singing made everyone happy. “It is the goodness of your heart and your soul that makes you sing like an angel. That is your gift from god. That is what makes you different,” the mayor said.
Tommy liked this difference and so he continued to sing at night across the valley because he knew that it made the people in the village below happy and that was his gift from god. He was different, we are all different and those things should be celebrated.
bobby stevenson 2012