Audrey Austin

Audrey Austin
Proud to be a small town indie author

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Featured Author for May -- Maggie Kirton

Meet Maggie Kirton - featured author for May
Secrets is a short story; an excerpt from Maggie Kirton's new book titled Sir.  
From the author:   Secrets is one of the stories in my new book for which Susan Ruby K. of made the cover…. It follows with a lesson plan for group discussion. In the book, there is also space for the child to draw a picture about the story.  


It has come to my attention that there are times when one must take great care in listening to a child - for there are secrets locked within the hearts of some children that ache with such heaviness as to weigh down the entire world. And if care is not taken, such a child may never learn to smile.  

Lance was indeed such a child. His tiny fingers gently held the fluff of a feather as he stroked it. His hair was like a beam of bright starlight, and his eyes were as blue as the whisper of the welkin. But there was a sadness about him that had undone every bit of his smile. 

And I will say now, with absolute certainty, that it is indeed a heart breaking matter when a child’s smile has been undone. A child’s tear is of such importance, that I believe it could easily crumble the world when it falls.  

Lance was perched quite contently upon a large rock that sat atop a hill. It was a beautiful hill that rose up on the other side of the village. The Little One came to sit beside him. 

“Do you know who I am?” the Little One asked. 

“No,” Lance said, as he shrugged his shoulders. 

“It is beautiful here,” the Little One sighed. 

“I always come to sit here,” Lance said. “I can see the whole world from this rock.” 

“The whole world?” the Little One asked. 

“Yes!” Lance said as he began to point out toward the horizon. “I can see Africa over there, and China over there, and the rainforest in Brazil over there!” 

The Little One smiled. “Ah yes! And look!” he said pointing toward the village, “There is Greece!” 

“No. That isn’t Greece. That’s the village where I live.” 

“Ahhhh...” the Little One sighed. 

“But when I grow up, I’m moving far away from here.” 

“Where shall you go?” the Little One asked. 

“I don’t know yet. I am thinking of going to the North Pole,” he said. 

“Oh...that is indeed very far away.” 

“Yes,” Lance nodded. 

“May I ask why you want to be so far away?” the Little One asked. 

Just then, Lance stood up and held out his arms and said, “Because I will be alone at the North Pole. No one lives up there!” 

“Perhaps, I shall come to visit you there!” the Little One said. 

“Me?” Lance asked. “You will come to visit … me?” 

“Of course!”  

“I would like it if you came to visit me,” Lance said. And with those words, he sat back down upon the rock and smiled. I must say it was a very small smile, but it was a smile nonetheless, and upon seeing it my heart began to mend, and a certain hope began to grow within it once again. 

The two began to talk of adventures they would have at the North Pole and how everything would be calm and white, very cold. They began to laugh about wearing sandals in the snow, and swimming with the polar bears. Their imaginations carried them into outright silliness. Oh yes! It did warm my heart to see the laughter in the blueness of Lance’s eyes! 

Then, quite suddenly, the laughter stopped, and Lance began to speak again: “I learned something at school yesterday,” he said. 

“Oh? What did you learn?” the Little One asked. 

“We learned about secrets.” 


“Yes,” Lance said. “There are good secrets and bad secrets.” 

“Oh yes, I’ve heard of this...” the Little One said softly.  “What else did you learn?” 

Lance sighed and shrugged his shoulders once again. “It doesn’t matter,” he whispered. 

“Oh, but it does!” the Little One said. “If it didn’t, then why did they teach it to you?
7Lance reached up and wiped a tear away with his fingers, and I was sure at that moment, that the world would crumble, but the strangest thing happened instead. 

The Little One reached out and took Lance’s hand in his and said, “Do you know who I am?” 

Lance shook his head. 

“I am your dream. I am your deepest and most sincere wish,” he said. “What is it you wish for? 

“I wish I could tell my secret,” Lance whispered. “It’s a bad secret.” 

“Then tell it,” the Little One said softly. “And I shall listen carefully to this thing that matters to you.” 

Lance began to speak. I shall not say the words of his secret here in my pad of paper, as the things he said to the Little One were indeed said as secrets should be said - in private and with trust. His secret was filled with whispers and tears that fell heavily. And it broke my heart.  

But I can say, that when Lance finished speaking, and the Little One stood up and placed his arms around Lance’s shoulders, a happening of wonderful importance occurred... 

The Little One, being the wise and gentle one that he is, spoke softly and told Lance of a special teacher he had when he was young and how she helped him when he too, had a bad secret to tell. He smiled when he spoke of her and said that she had listened well.  

Lance said that he also knew someone like her and that he would also share his secret with a special grown-up. 

The Little One listened carefully to Lance’s plans and nodded with great approval. And then he said, “Oh, and I am a smile on a heavy heart.” 

The Little One reached his tiny arms out and around Lance’s neck, and Lance, with a certain brightness in his eyes, reached back with a smile! 

I will add, that though this day was burdened with great sadness and tears enough to crumble the world, I believe that the sharing of trust is a gift of such goodness and such light, that to share it is like a smile that never goes away and a hug that never ends.

Why do you think Lance was keeping his secret to himself instead of telling someone?  

What is the difference between a good secret and a bad secret? Which kind of secret should you share with a grown-up? 

What do you think Lance’s secret is?  Why do you think it was a bad secret? 

Do you have a secret you really want to share with someone? Do you already know who you would share it with?  

Why is it important to share a secret that is bothering you? 

Will you share a secret if it is an important one like Lance’s is? 

What do you think the Little One did to help Lance after the secret was told?  

What would you do if someone told you a very important and bad secret? 

There are many kinds of important secrets. Can you name some of them? 

Important Secrets I must share with an adult:


Important Secrets I should not share:
Standard teaching curriculums work for children in the vast majority of classrooms, but what happens to those children that learn in the classroom labelled: Special Education? In this classroom, teachers use wonderful and creative ways to incorporate standard teaching techniques with the special needs of each individual child within the room.
Sir is written as a long-term, group-learning, lesson plan which takes in multiple children within the classroom, all learning the same things at the same time, and yet leaving room for each individual child to use their own imagination and creativity on their own terms … thereby increasing the likelihood of successful learning in a calm, gentle, and creative learning environment.
Lessons include: organized group discussions, artwork, creative thinking, social skills, tolerance, self-respect, respecting the views of others, the differences between right and wrong, and the list goes on and on – all based on the common theme:
Cover Design:
using imagination to learn within the Special Education classroom


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