A Chance Opportunity

When I opened the photo prompt this week I saw the humour of having such a robust security device.
Yet, I noted the craft in the metal work so my story recognises this skill. Having worked with metal I understand the satisfaction of creating aesthetic pleasing items, no matter how simple they look.

Below the story I have added a crafted bespoke gate, which we fitted for a customer.

My story contribution to Friday Fictioneers reflects how the apprentice system needs resetting in this technological age.

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankivell

 A Chance Opportunity 

Elliot hated the written blacksmith test.
The pen snapped in his hand and he slammed the desk.
‘I’m sorry, sir. It don’t make sense.’ he said and wiped his eyes.

Mr McKay looked over his newspaper. ‘Take your time, lad.’
He watched as Elliot clawed at his hair.
He was the worst-case illiterate and innumerate of anyone in the rehabilitation class.
Words and letters jumbled around in the boy’s mind.
However, he expressed eagerness in his eyes and was a skilled metalworker.

“A last chance,” the judge had said.
“Join honest society and make use of your pilfering hands, constructively.”

_______

35 responses to “A Chance Opportunity

  1. What a sweet and uplifting story. I needed that this week. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your story is wonderful every which way. The gate you fitted is magnificent! I appreciate that kind of fine craftsmanship. I watched an old video of “On the Road” with Charles Kuralt last night. One of the episodes featured a guy that hand builds wooden ships. He’s quite old now, but he has a crew of young apprentices that are dedicated to learning how to do it right from him.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There’s a real sense of rapport between the man and the boy that’s heart-warming. Thank goodness for adults who can see beyond the surface behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As my mum used to say, we all have our strengths and skills, the trick is finding out what they are and for the teachers to recognise them and encourage them. Nicely done, James

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so well done, James. These days we’d recognize that he has learning issues, which you’ve portrayed very well. In other days, he would have been labelled and forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The gate is beautiful. My husband loves metal work, and I’ll have to show him this.

    I feel so much empathy for the guy taking the test. I worked with some students who were severely challenged by the paper and pencil tests, but were artists with magic hands in other areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear James,

    It sounds like Elliott has Dyslexia. That doesn’t mean he’s stupid. Hopefully the judge understands. Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,
      Yes, Dyslexia is exactly his weakness. I am glad you pinpointed his problem, I wanted to show rather than tell Elliot’s difficulties.
      Thank you.
      James

      Liked by 1 person

      • You did a good job of it, James. I have a friend who has it. Back when we were in grade school she was always put in the remedial reading groups. So sad. They didn’t even know it was a thing back then. Today, my friend is an accomplished, beautiful and brilliant woman whose husband reads to her. Pity she had to grow up thinking she was a dummy.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely when they are given a second chance. it’s not always an easy thing when the book learning does not come easily

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A second chance. Sounds like he’s good with his hands

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It seems silly to have tests like this for hands on jobs. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. How many miss out because “English” isn’t great?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It always better to see someone reformed and put to good use than discarded.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. if he learns his trade well, he’ll make a good contribution to society.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Their are many people who are made for working with their hands, thankfully! It’s too bad that in the US, people have moved away from an emphasis on vocational training and apprenticeships. The gates are elegant.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tests can be difficult for some. I’m sure he was an excellent metalworker.
    Beautiful entrance gate … phenomenal workmanship.
    Be Safe 😷 … Isadora 😎
    ps … if you enjoy seeing creative metalwork pop over to my hubby’s shop:

    https://etsy.com/shop/copperwhimseasbyal/

    Like

  15. I’m glad Mr McKay has some patience with him. Hopefully he’ll make it!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Some professions don’t demand a lot of “book-learnin” but do demand skill in craftsmanship. Shouldn’t be hard to understand except by those who profit from the former.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Elliot has a valuable skill. I think he will follow through.
    The gate is magnificent!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A great take and some beautiful gates! I have a blacksmith friend and I’m always in awe of his creations.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Solid – the short writing and the device. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. And yet his hands, I’m sure, are eloquent

    Liked by 1 person

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