A Story by Poet Pittinix

This is a short story about a dunce. It contains some Patois expressions.


      Mr. and Mrs. Weatherburn lived in New Port. The couple was illiterate, and they had a teenage son named Stanley. His mother called him Taundee. He was attending a boarding school in Clarendon, but he could not read or write. It seemed that he had an intellectual disability. Moreover, he was a lazy boy. When Stanley misbehaves, his mother would say, “Taundee, yuh cyaan ave likkle destantable, likkle elliquet about yuh?”

      Stanley’s parents wanted him to be a brilliant scholar, but he was not making any progress. They were just wasting their money on him. Every session he would idle and play around in class, and as a result he could not learn anything. The teachers were annoyed with the disturbance that he caused.

      One day Mrs. Weatherburn visited Stanley at school, and she gave him a storybook to read. He did not know that she hid money in the middle page of the book to test him. The whole semester he did not even open the book. When she went back to the school to visit him, she knew that he did not look through the book because he said nothing to her about the money. Mrs. Weatherburn expressed how disappointed she was in him, and he promised her that he would study hard. “I’ll make you proud of me,” he said.

       At the end of the semester, Stanley went home, and he spent the holidays with his parents. He knew that his mother and father could not read, so he pretended that he could read in order to impress them. He took a textbook from his schoolbag, and he opened it and recited a line. “Syrian corn, the white man corn, and the black man corn,” he said dramatically. His mother and father were so excited when they heard him reading. Moreover, they felt proud of him, and they wanted others to know that he did well in school.

      Mrs. Weatherburn invited the neighbours to come over and listen to her son read. They went into the yard and stood outside. She said, “My son is going to read for us.” The neighbours were illiterate, so Stanley did not have to worry. He exited the house with his book, and he recited the same line. “Syrian corn, the white man corn, and the black man corn,” he said. Little did he know that someone in the group could read. His mother thought it was strange because he had previously said the same thing, but she did not say anything about it. “My son can read well,” Mr. Weatherburn said proudly.

      All the people were impressed except one woman who could read. She sensed that something was wrong, so she grabbed the book from Stanley as he was about to close it, and she looked on the page. “You can’t read, you’re playing us for fools,” she said. “Nothing that he said is in the book,” she added. The neighbours hissed, and they grumbled against Mrs. Weatherburn.

      “You called us here to listen to such rubbish,” one of them said angrily. “That boy is a dunce,” another person said. Stanley hung his head in shame and went back into the house. Mr. and Mrs. Weatherburn were so embarrassed because the neighbours found out that they could not read, and neither could Stanley.


The End

© 2024 Poet Pittinix

Author's Note

Poet Pittinix
This is another old story.

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Added on April 14, 2024
Last Updated on April 15, 2024
Tags: teacher, school, parents, dunce, reading


Poet Pittinix
Poet Pittinix

Kingston, West Indies, Jamaica

Hi everyone, I'm an author from Jamaica. I write poems, songs, and short stories. Do not send me any private messages. I came here to read and to publish my compositions, not to engage in controver.. more..