For Rosie, going to a new school meant learning new skills. Today, she and her classmates were learning to catch.
Pawl had tagged along to school to the children’s delight and sat at the side of the field watching Rosie attempt to catch the ball.
A few throws of the ball to a bewildered Rosie seemed to end quite disastrously, with Rosie dropping the ball each time.
This caused the other children to call her mean names, like ‘Butter Fingers’ (because the ball slipped from her hands each time).
Pawl decided to step up in support of his friend. “Having some trouble catching?” he asked her.
“It’s easy,” he began. “Us tigers call it ‘tiger vision’ but for a child like yourself, you might call it something like,” Pawl scratched his head for a brief moment…
“Rosie vision?” Rosie suggested.
“Yes, I suppose,” said the toy tiger. “This means you must focus. You’ve got to want to catch the ball – like your life depended on it.”
Rosie sighed, “It just might…”
“But first, let me look at those hands,” said Pawl.
Rosie held out her hands. She laughed as Pawl sniffed her fingers. “They don’t smell like butter to me,” he said. He examined one finger very closely, so closely in fact, Rosie could feel the warmth of his nose pressed against her hand.
“Nope no butter on there. I am now fully convinced you have normal hands and no ‘butter fingers’ like the kids are suggesting.”
Pawl’s ridiculous inspection of Rosie’s hands left her laughing and seeing her smile, the tiger was now satisfied she was in a better frame of mind to catch the ball.
“It’s good to see you are feeling better. Don’t take yourself so seriously,” he said to the little girl.
“So I must focus… as though my life depended on it… and then not take myself so seriously.” Pawl’s words seemed to contradict each other.
“Yes, find a balance between the two,” said Pawl. “I call that specific balance, “Just doing one’s best’. That’s all a girl – or tiger for that matter – can ever do.”
Rosie stepped up to the line again and this time when the ball came towards her, she managed to catch it, sure now she didn’t have butter fingers (Pawl had done a thorough inspection) and confident that if she did her best and kept a good attitude (with a smile), the results would be good.
Thanks to Pawl, she learned more than how to catch a ball that day – that doing one’s best is all that is required of a person. For this: 1. Focus, and give it your all. 2. Don’t take yourself so seriously (if you have covered point 1, you are already a champion… in Pawl’s opinion anyway).