Juggling Practice

Jose wanted to juggle. His Christmas list had, in fact, been filled entirely with the words “juggling balls” repeated twenty-two times, with the last item being “a bar of chocolate.”

Jose’s parents, therefore, invested in a good set of juggling balls and an instruction book for Jose, knowing that, at ten years old, he would probably use them for all of twenty-five minutes before abandoning them for something else.

On Christmas Day, Jose jumped up and down in joy at the colourful balls. After the present-opening was finished, he grabbed the book and spent two hours reading it.

Then he opened the container holding the balls, and started throwing them. He worked with a single ball first, as the book instructed. When he felt like he had the technique down, Jose took a second ball and started alternating them. “One-two,” he said to himself. “One-two. One-two.” Just as the book had told him.

When he could throw the two between his hands without dropping them, he added the third. He mentally prepared himself, then tried to throw them, one-two-three. He dropped two of the three balls. He bent over, picked them up, and tried again. And again. And again.

He was interrupted, later, for dinner. Then his parents sent him to bed.

The next morning, when his mother came to wake him for their traditional boxing day breakfast, she opened his door to see Jose standing in yesterday’s clothes, juggling all three balls. He glanced at the door when she poked her head in, smiled, and looked back to the balls without dropping them.

“I got it, Mom! See?”

“Well done, dear…have you slept?”

“Naw, I’ll sleep tonight after I get my first trick down.”

“Okay, well, breakfast is almost ready.”

Jose caught the three balls like a seasoned pro, set them down, and said, “Coming.”

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