Amy's Math

~Written by Amanda when she was thirteen... while she was supposed to be doing her math.~

"Oh, I hate math!" cried 13-year-old Amy Gibson in frustration as she sat down at her desk to redo the math lesson she's missed too many problems on earlier. Although she didn't know it, her math book and pencil looked sadly at each other. Her eraser sighed and bookmark looked dejected.

That evening, all the school supplies in the neighborhood held a conference. The great Judge Victor, the Dictionary, sat at the head of the long table in their secret meeting place. He brought the meeting to order and asked if anyone had anything to say.

Amy's math book cleared his throat and the Judge said, "Mathew Algebra, what do you have to say?"

"Well, your Honor, my student, Amy Baker, is having trouble learning her math."

"Hmm, math troubles. Well, do you have any suggestions?"

"Only one your Honor."

"And what might that be?"

"Well, I know this is scandalous, but the only way I see to help the girl is to-- well-- reveal myself."

Surprised murmurs went around the room, for no school supply ever even mentioned revealing himself to any humans. Judge Victor banged on the table with his gavel. "Reveal yourself? Why that is impossible! No one has ever done that in all the long history of writing, reading, and drawing supplies."

"Well, there always has to be a first," replied Mathew.

"I suppose you're right. There is no other way."

"There is one last thing."


"I can't do this alone."

"I see. Are there any volunteers to help Mathew Algebra?"

"I will," said Perry, Amy's pencil.

"And I," added Mark, her bookmark.

"Me, too!" little Pink Pearl, her eraser cried in her sweet piping voice.

The Judge sighed and said, "I, supreme Judge over all these supplies, do solemnly, and perhaps foolishly, grant Mathew Algebra, Perry the Pencil, Mark the Bookmark, and Pink Pearl the Eraser permission to reveal themselves to Amy Baker, and to her only, to help her learn her math. Go your way, supplies, this meeting is concluded."

All the supplies went back to their shelves, and the happiest of all were Amy's.

- - -

The next morning, Amy sat down to do her math. She sighed. "I just don't like math!"

Mathew Algebra suddenly came to life and said, "Now, Amy, that's no way to talk!"

The girl stared in disbelief. "Am I seeing strait?" she asked.

"Of course you are. And I'm here to help you learn to appreciate math." All the other supplies then came to life and agreed to help also.

"Wow!" Amy cried.

"Now," Mathew said, "we aren't here to distract you, so get to work!" So saying, the supplies became supplies and Amy got to work. Presently, she was half done, but then came long division, the worst part of math. She got really frustrated when it just wouldn't work out and scribbled over the whole problem. Pearl the eraser came to life and gently erased the scribbles.

"You just can't get so frustrated," she said quietly. "Take a deep breath and work the problem out carefully." Amy sighed and did it over. Pearl went back to being an eraser. After the division came multiplication. Amy got frustrated again and wrote really hard. In her wrath, she squeezed her pencil.

"Yikes!" Perry cried in pain. "Don't squeeze or write so hard! I hurts!"

"But these problems are impossible!"

"No they aren't! If you would just take a deep breath, stay calm and work it out, you could do it!" Amy calmed down, as her pencil became a pencil.

After a while, Mathew said, "You need to check over your work."

"That's what Mom says, but I just can't stand it!"

"But if you check over it, you are almost guaranteed to get 100%!"

"Oh I guess." Amy was beginning to see that Mathew knew what he was talking about. But when she did it, she just copied the first problem.

Mark the bookmark laid himself over the first problem as Pearl erased the copy. "You can't just copy the first problem! That won't get you any where!" Mark reprimanded.

Pearl said, "Now do it over."

Amy did and found she'd got a different answer. "That would have been one against you!" Mathew said.

"But why do I have to do Math anyway?"

"Math," Mathew said, "is one of the most valuable things in life! You have to want to do it and want to do it well! You don't want to have to pull a calculator out of your pocket whenever you encounter two plus two do you?"

"No." As Amy pondered his words, she realized that she really did want to do math, and that she just had to remember that she did when she had to do long division.

After that, she and her school supplies became fast friends and when Amy moved on to new books, she remembered the wise words of Mathew. After a long while, Perry was too short to be used so Amy got a new pencil, but she never squeezed or drew hard with that one any more than she would have with Perry. Finally, Mark got so many wrinkles and tears in him that she had to get a new one, but for a long time, she had used Mark to cover up her first problem whenever she checked her work. Pearl never ran out and she and Amy were inseparable. Amy grew up to be the fastest at math and finally graduated and the top of her class all because of the help of Mathew, Perry, Mark, and Pearl.

The End