Max the Magnificent Learns Listening

Bob Kuehner

Chief Servant & Storyteller
School for Amazing Kids

“We care for people, investing our lives into theirs for a return that pleases God.”

By Bob Kuehner

The School for Amazing Kids had amazing teachers. Max’s teacher, Miss Christina, loved to garden. She had been growing plants and caring for them since she was a little girl. Miss Christina shared her love of gardening with her class by teaching them how to grow a bean plant.

“I’m going to climb my beanstalk someday,” said Max.

max-the-magnificent-learns-listening4-copyOne weekend, Miss Christina bought a flowering vine from a local garden center. The photo on the tag showed the most beautiful blooms Miss Christina had ever seen. The next day, Miss Christina marched everyone out to the farthest, sunniest corner of the playground.

“Children, today we are going to plant a flowering vine. If we take care of it, the vine will grow flowers,” said Miss Christina.

Max and his friends were excited to help. Max turned over the soil with a garden trowel, and Sarah dug the hole. Tom placed the vine into the hole and Emily watered it. Everyone admired the tiny plant against the very tall fence.

“It’s so small,” said Max.

“Someday, it will be much larger and covered with the most spectacular blooms you’ve ever seen,” said Miss Christina, smiling. “Who will help me take care of the vine?”

“I will,” said Tom.

“Me, too,” said Sarah.

“Me, three,” said Emily.

“Me, infinity!” said Max.

Every day, there was a wild race to the farthest, sunniest corner of the playground. The vine began to grow, and Max appointed himself its guardian. He protected it from stray soccer balls and squirrels.

“Stay back, wild beasts,” said Max to the squirrels in the trees. “You can’t hide your nuts here.”

The children took turns watering the little vine. It remained small for the first week and then it took off. The vine spread up, to the left, to the right, and then completely over the fence.

“Super vine,” said Max.

“But where are the flowers?” asked Emily.

“It’ll grow flowers soon,” said Miss Christina.

But the vine didn’t grow flowers. It just became bigger and greener. The children began to grumble that the vine would never bloom.

“I don’t believe Miss Christina knows what she’s talking about,” said Tom.

“I’m not going to listen to her anymore,” said Sarah.

Max didn’t like to hear this. If only the vine would grow flowers. He remembered his mother telling him that plants did better if you talked to them.

“Please grow some flowers,”Max told the vine.max-the-magnificent-learns-listening1-copy

But out in the farthest, sunniest corner of the playground, the vine just grew bigger and greener.

Inside the amazing preschool, bad behavior broke out. The caps were left off of the glue sticks, and no one would admit who did it. All the magnetic letters were pushed into a heap at the bottom of the magnetic board except for the word “achoo” across the top.

Everyone forgot their manners. Common courtesy went out the window along with “please.”

“What’s the magic word?” asked Miss Christina whenever someone forgot to say it.

“Abracadabra!” shouted the children.

A cat was snuck into the preschool. The children pretended to be puppies and chased the poor cat around, knocking everything over.

“Stop,” said Miss Christina.

“Woof,” said the children.

max-the-magnificent-learns-listening-copyMax went up to Miss Christina while the others were scratching their ears and rolling over.

“Will the vine ever grow flowers?” he asked.

Miss Christina’s eyes glistened with tears. “I don’t know anymore,” she said.

Max charged out of the preschool and ran to the farthest, sunniest corner of the playground. He was upset that Miss Christina was sad. He was angry that the other children weren’t listening to her.

“Why won’t you grow flowers?” he yelled.

A big gust of wind blew across the playground and the fence shuddered. The section of vine that hung on the other side of the fence flipped up and over into the playground.

Max’s mouth hung open. Hundreds of the most beautiful flowers he had ever seen covered the vine. Their heavenly fragrance hit his nose. Magnificent.

Max turned to find Miss Christina and the children staring at the vine in shock. Then everyone cheered.

“The flowers were growing on the other side of the fence,” said Max. “You were right, Miss Christina. We should have believed you. Listening is important.”

Just because the children hadn’t seen the blooms didn’t mean the blooms weren’t there. The children felt sorry for their bad behavior and promised to listen to their teacher in the future.