Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Xena Plays the Xylophone

Everyone in Xena Holloway's family was musical, and she wanted to be too. They all played an instrument.  Her father played the French horn. Her mother played the mandolin. Her sister, Shelby played the saxophone. Her brother, Braden played the banjo.  Xena wanted to play an instrument too, but she didn't know which instrument to play.

She asked her father. "Daddy, what instrument should I play?"

Daddy smiled proud that Xena wanted to carry on the family musical tradition. "Why don't you play the French horn like me?" he suggested excitedly. He let her hold his horn. It was shiny and brass, but a little too big for  such a little girl as Xena to hold comfortably. She handed it back to her father.

"No thank you, daddy." said Xena. "The French horn  is the perfect instrument for you. It is not right for me. Thanks, anyway." She went off to find her mother.

Mommy was sitting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. She looked up and smiled as Xena approached. "What can I do for you. my sweet?" she asked cheerfully.

"What instrument should I play, mommy?" asked Xena.

"Why don't you play the mandolin like me?" offered Mommy. She took Xena upstairs and proudly showed Xena her mandolin. It  was beautifully carved wood. Xena plucked on the strings. It kind of hurt her fingers. She handed it back to her mother.

"No, thank you mommy." said Xena. "The mandolin is the perfect instrument for you. It is not right for me. Thanks, anyway." She went off to her find her sister, Shelby.

Shelby was in her room reading a book. "What do you want?" she asked angrily. She was in the middle of the best part of her book and didn't really want to be interupted.

Xena frowned and made sad puppy dog eyes at her sister. "I just wanted to ask you a question." she said hurtly.

Shelby felt a pang of guilt for being so mean to her little sister. "I'm sorry. What is it?" she asked,

Xena smiled. She liked it so much better when Shelby was nice to her. "What instrument should I play?" she asked her sister.

Now, it was Shelby's turn to smile. "Why don't you play the saxophone like me?" She went to the closet and took out her instrument. It was long and shiny. She handed it to Xena to check out.

Xena tried to blow into the saxophone. All she got were sore lips. No sound came out of the instrument. "The saxophone is the perfect instrument for you. It is not right for me." she handed it back to her sister and went off to find her brother, Braden.

Braden was out on the driveway shooting baskets. He stopped as Shelby approached and lifted her into the air. "Hey kiddo!" he greeted her warmly.  He and his little sister were very close and he adored her.

"What instrument should I play?" asked Xena as Braden gently placed her back down on the ground.  

"How about the Banjo?" suggested Braden.

They went into the house. He took out his banjo and showed it to her. It had a long neck and a rounded bottom. Xena plucked at the strings. She didn't like it anymore than she had liked strumming her mother's mandolin.  She shook her head. "The banjo is the perfect instrument for you. It is not for me." she handed the banjo back to Braden.

Xena felt sad. There wasn't anybody else in the family to ask for advice about what instrument to play. She went down into the basement to be by herself and think. Maybe, it would cheer her up to look through Grandma's old things. The basement was full of them. Mommy and Daddy had brought them here when Grandma moved to the retirement community.

Mommy had really wanted to get rid of Grandma's old things. "But one of the children might want them one day." Grandma had insisted. Mommy was just waiting for the right time and then she planned to get rid of most of the stuff anyway. It made Xena sad because she loved looked through Grandma's old things. She started sorting through bags of clothes and shoes.

Suddenly, in the corner she spotted an old suitcase she had never seen before. She quickly went over to it. She blew the dust off and opened it. She lifted out a small wooden xylophone. It was the most beautiful instrument Xena had ever seen. She put it down and reached back into the suitcase and found two rubber mallets. She struck the xylophone with them. It was one of the most beautiful sounds Xena had ever heard.
She smiled happily. She knew she had found it. She knew she had found the perfect instrument for her.

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