Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Childhood Stories - Moberly - Card Games

Once upon a time there was a boy who did not like to lose. This made his life quite miserable, for losing was something he did often.

There were several card games in favor among the siblings, to help the evenings go by after supper. They played Three-Five-Eight, and Poker, and Hearts, and a few others. When the short-tempered boy started grouching in their midst, they would offer to let him play Fifty-Two Pickup. Having fallen for this a couple of times, he declined to play any more.

Though he was not a very good sport, the siblings, practicing their Christian duty, involved him in their games, though they knew that by doing so they would most likely compromise the peacefulness of their evening. The boy was touchy to begin with; his history of previous card game losses would set him on edge, but he was determined that this time would be different and he would be victorious. When the same old same old began happening, the ire would rise, along with the voice, the volume, the dander, and the angry tears in his eyes. Losing graciously, holding the prospect of victory with a lighter grasp, never seemed to have occurred to him.

The Hearts hands were dealt. The boy, having lost the previous six hands in a row, studied his cards, then passed three cards left, hoping to give some of his grief to someone else. He received in return three cards; not really good ones, but not as bad as could be either. His frown lessened.

In the second round he played a low card, but the person on his left played a lower one, as did the person across, and the one on the right gave him the Queen of Spades (Grrr!!! Anger from the boy, chuckles from the siblings.).

His next few cards were too high as well, and the person on the right kept feeding him hearts. Howls of protest rose; accusations of cheating, of picking on him, of being the source of most of the world’s ills were leveled at the siblings. With each passing card his voice rose, as each of the siblings always had a lower card than he did…

“It’s not fair! I’m getting so many points…” Which was, of course undesirable in Hearts. The hand ended, and there was the boy, with all the points. He wept bitterly, until it was pointed out to him that taking all the cards actually resulted in 26 points for everyone else and none for him. This made the boy happy, though he was still emotional, crying and laughing at the same time…

His siblings deserve many commendations for their patience with a self-centered and egotistical boy. I’m sure they all hoped he would not stay that way forever…

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