Two boys of a tennis team groaned incessantly about the rigor of their training.
“It is too hot to play tennis today,” quipped one.
“I’m thirsty,” remarked two.
Meanwhile, two other boys – also members of the tennis team – worked tirelessly at perfecting their back hand shots.
“I’ll surely win my next match if I keep this up,” said three.
“No one will be able to return this serve,” shouted four.
(Tennis court in Racice. Photographed by Jiri Sedlacek.)
Source: Wikimedia Commons
The boys happen to have traveled very different roads to make it where they are today. The first group’s families are well off and pretentious. The second group’s families are quite the opposite, they have very little but are thankful for their blessings.
Having taken a seat under a shade umbrella, boys one and two rest and drink a sports drink.
“I just want to go home and swim and eat ice cream,” said one.
“These new shoes that my father bought don’t seem to be helping my performance like the advertisement promised,” proclaimed two.
Meanwhile, three and four smash the ball back and forth in a heated match in order to prove who was the better of the two.
“I really think that we could win the national championship in doubles,” claims four as they pause between matches.
“I guess I’d play with you – you are all right,” three explained.
See, three and four work at age fourteen on weekday afternoons in order to pay for their tennis lessons and equipment; one and two? They watch television and ride dirt-bikes.
It is a seen as a gift to be able to play the sport that three and four so love.
One and two see it as an obligation set forth by their parents that was their demise.
Three and four realize that tennis afforded them the only opportunity to thrive.
Author’s note. This story is based on the fable titled “The oxen and the wheels.” The fable is out of the book The Aesop for Children by (anonymous), illustrated by Milo Winter (1919). The story involves two ox who pull a heavy wagon without complaint. Meanwhile, the two wheels of the wagon complain non-stop because they have to work. I thought about many children today who have so much and appreciate so little, so I adapted it to fit something they would likely do.