From the aboriginal day he entered my junior-high classroom, Willard Jack existed in his own world, shutting out his classmates and me, his teacher. My attempts at establishing a affable accord with him were met with complete indifference. Even a “Good Morning Willar” accustomed alone an inau-dible grunt. I could see that his class- mates fared no better. Willard was strictly a beatnik who seemed to accept no admiration or charge to breach his barrier of silence.
Shortly afterwards the Thanksgiving holi- day, we accustomed chat of the anniversary Christmas accumulating of money for the beneath advantageous humans in our academy district.
”Christmas is a division of giving,” I told my students. “There are a few acceptance in the academy who ability not accept a blessed anniversary season. By accidental to our Christmas collection, you will advice buy food, accouterment and toys for these beggared people. We alpha the accumulating tomorrow.”
When I alleged for the contributions the next day, I apparent that about anybody had forgotten. Except for Willard P. Franklin. The boy dug abysmal into his pants pockets as he strolled up to my desk. Carefully, he alone two abode into the baby container.
”I don’t charge no milk for lunch,” he mumbled. For a moment, just a mo- ment, he smiled. Then he angry and absolved aback to his desk.
That night, afterwards school, I took our bare contributions to the academy principal. I couldn’t advice administration the adventure that had taken place.
”I may be wrong, but I accept Willard ability be accepting ability be accepting accessible to become a allotment of the apple about him,” I told the principal.
”Yes, I accept it sounds hopeful,” he nodded. “And I accept a anticipation we ability do able-bodied to accept him allotment a bit of his apple with us. I just accustomed a account of the poor families in our academy who a lot of charge advice through the Christmas collection. Here, yield a attending at it.”
As I gazed down to read, I dis- covered Willard Jack and his relatives were the top names on the list.