Florian was a little wizard who was having trouble learning Elvish. When the monthly test scores were announced, he crowded around the notice board along with his classmates. His eyes swept down the list of names and when he found his name, he quickly scanned the grades in the various subjects. His face fell when he saw what he’d gotten in Elvish – a big red C-!
“Blimey!” he said to himself. “I didn’t know that I had done the test so poorly! However will I learn this subject? I find it just so hard!”, he thought to himself in dismay. Just then, Ms. Bigheart, the headmistress, walked up to him.
“Hello, Florian”, she said. “Could you please see me before you go home today? I’d like to have a word with you about your grade in Elvish”.
“Yes, Ms. Bigheart”, he said dolefully.
“Oh no!”, he thought. “Now I’m done for! Ms. Bigheart is surely going to scold me and give me extra lessons. I don’t even like Elvish and now I’ll have to take extra lessons!”
After the final bell rang at 2 pm, Florian gathered his school bag, pointy wizard hat, and tiny little wand and went up to Ms. Bigheart’s room. He was feeling anxious! He knocked twice.
“Come in!”, said the headmistress and Florian tiptoed in, his heart pounding painfully in his chest. He was scared of her! She was a big witch with short grey hair and wore large round spectacles that made her eye pop out.
“Thank you for coming, Florian”, she said smiling kindly at him. She was a kind-hearted witch and cared very much about her pupils. “Please sit down. I was a little concerned about your test score in Elvish. I see that you’ve been consistently scoring low marks in it. Is there something wrong?”, she asked peering keenly into his green eyes.
Florian was feeling scared but he saw that Ms. Bigheart was being kind to him. That helped him to relax just a little. He swallowed hard and said, “I find Elvish very hard, Ms. Bigheart. I don’t understand it. So I don’t feel like studying it at all.”
“Hmm. I see what you mean“ she said. Then she added thoughtfully, “You know, Florian, I used to once find Elvish very hard too. I had a friend called Mary who was very good at it. So I asked her how she was able to learn a subject that I found so hard myself. I have never forgotten what she told me that day.
This is what Mary told me – “Elvish is my friend! Sometimes it can be a little hard, but that just means that I need to put a little more effort to get to know it better. The more I become curious about it and spend time with it, the more I understand it! Now I really enjoy learning Elvish!”
“I wonder if that could help you too, Florian. Can you look at Elvish as your friend? The more time you spend getting to know it, the more friendly it will become toward you!”
“Think about Gardening”, she continued. “I know that you like it a lot! Do you think that if you hadn’t started Gardening and spent enough time with it, you would have liked it so much? Of course not!”
Florian thought about that. “What if Elvish doesn’t like me?”, he asked.
“That’s the beauty of it”, said Ms. Bigheart. “Books always like us. They can even become our best friends if we let them. But it’s up to us to start talking to them. Then they will slowly open up to us and become friends for life. In fact, once you learn Elvish, you will be able to do so much more! You will be able to read big books in Elvish. Why, you might even be able to create your own Elvish magic spells one day!”
“I would love that”, said Florian. He really wanted to be able to read big books in Elvish and create his own Elvish magic spells! “I’ll try it, Ms. Bigheart. I’ll spend time every day with Elvish. Maybe it will start becoming friendly to me and I will be able to understand it better”. Florian was excited now! He still felt a little apprehensive about how he could get Elvish to like him, but he was eager to give it a shot!
“Wonderful”, said Ms. Bigheart. “Also remember – there are others in your class who understand Elvish well and would be more than happy to help you with it. Rosie from your class enjoys Elvish a lot and scores top marks every time. All you need to do is ask her!”
“Thank you, Ms. Bigheart. I will do that!”, said the little wizard, his face lit up with eagerness. He scuttled off to his little treehouse at the top of the hill. He meant to spend some time with his Elvish textbook that evening!
He made himself a mug of steaming hot chocolate that evening and sat down at his little desk. He looked at his Elvish textbook and said to it, “Dear Elvish, I really want to become friends with you. I promise to spend time studying you every day. I will not give up when I find parts of you hard to understand. I will ask Rosie to help me.”
He opened the first chapter and started studying. It was hard! He didn’t make much headway and got stuck soon. He underlined the words he didn’t understand with his little red pencil. After 30 minutes, he felt a little discouraged but he reminded himself of his promise. He would ask Rosie for help the next day, he decided.
The next morning, he found Rosie sitting under a birch tree. “Hi Rosie”, he said. “I really want to become friends with Elvish! I know that you know it really well. Will you help me, please?”.
Rosie’s face lit up. “Of course, Florian”, she said. “I’d love to. What do you find hard in Elvish?” she asked. Florian showed her the parts he’d not understood the previous night. “Oh this is really easy. Here, let me explain”, she said. For 20 minutes, Rosie explained everything clearly to Florian.
“Thank you, Rosie”, he said gratefully. “I understand it now!”. Rosie smiled at him. “That’s awesome! Let me know if you need help anytime. I’m happy to explain things to you! I hope you become good friends with Elvish soon”.
The next day, he spent another 30 minutes studying Elvish. Again, there were many things he didn’t understand. He went to Rosie again the next day and she helped him understand them. He did this day after day. Slowly but surely, Florian started becoming better friends with Elvish. He spent time studying every day and took Rosie’s help whenever he found something particularly hard to understand.
Before long, it was time for the quarterly school tests again! But he felt more confident! He gave them his best shot. When the results came out, do you know what Florian scored in Elvish? B+! He had become such good friends with Elvish that his score had improved tremendously! He was really pleased. “I’m now good friends with Elvish! I’m glad I took the time to understand it”, he thought to himself with satisfaction.
He went to share the great news with Rosie. “Rosie!”, he said. “Guess what I scored in Elvish?”, he said, his eyes sparkling. His pointy hat was almost falling off his head because he was skipping from side to side excitedly!
Rosie asked him excitedly, “What?”. She was smiling because she could read from Florian’s excited look that it must be something good!
“I scored a B+! B+, Rosie! Can you believe that?”, he said.
“Yes, I can. Congratulations, Florian. You worked hard for that grade and totally deserve it. Well done!”, she said.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without you, Rosie”, said Florian sincerely. “Thank you so much. It was really nice of you to help me understand Elvish. I really appreciate it”.
Rosie glowed with pleasure. “Oh it was nothing!”, she said. “I’m glad that I was able to help!”. She meant it. Rosie was a good little witch and she was genuinely thrilled that Florian had done so well.
When Ms. Bigheart saw the results, she was very happy. “Good work, Florian”, she said to him. “I see that you’ve become good friends with Elvish indeed! Keep up the hard work!”.
“Thank you, Ms. Bigheart”, said Florian beaming. “I enjoy studying Elvish very much! I like it even when it gets hard. As you said, when it gets difficult to understand, I just put more effort into understanding it. I also ask Rosie for help whenever I’m unable to understand something by myself. I’m glad that I’m good friends with Elvish now!”
I’m very glad too! Aren’t you as well? I can’t wait for the day Florian will be able to read big Elvish books and create his own Elvish magic spells!