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An Accommodating Athlete

May 1, 2018

Chadwick is a high-achieving young athlete, a ball of energy who is driven to devalue his skills for the sake of friendship.

 

W h o o s h ! Chadwick explodes with energy. He practises hard, wanting to be “like top athletes”. Even his name, Chadwick, rhymes with quick – a reflection of his abilities in physical activities, coordination and spatial awareness; but he is not the typical sportsperson. His friendship with Tiger throws up a curious conflict . . . to maintain his level of ability, or be “really good friends with Tiger by enjoying the same things at the same pace”.

 

Chadwick’s friendship with Tiger is based on mutual curiosity. Tiger keeps asking questions, like “What are you doing?” and “Why are your claws poking out?” Chadwick wonders about their differences, too, when he asks Tiger, “Where are your claws?”

 

Chadwick’s empathy with Tiger shows at every stage of the story as he looks for the lowest common denominator. He matches each assessment with a creative, accommodating response – “I’ll just borrow” this or that. He gives advice pleasantly and his helpful, humorous suggestions come from a good heart, even if they backfire. He is genuinely concerned for Tiger, especially when he asks, “Are you OK, Tiger?”

 

After assessing that even playing chasey “didn’t work”, Chadwick makes the ultimate concession. He scales down his abilities and plans to run at Tiger’s speed in the six-legged race.

 

Friends for fun? Yes, but what if their friendship developed into one for mutual benefit? Then Tiger might cheer Chadwick on in his training program and his journey to stardom. 

 

EMPATHY

As Chadwick’s friend, test your knowledge about him by choosing the right answer to finish each statement.

 

Chadwick’s paws are:

-as soft as jelly

-as hard as tyre rubber

-are hidden all the time

 

If Chadwick says “hello” and wants to lick your face, it will feel:

-velvety

-bony

-like sandpaper

 

Chadwick’s paw prints are:

-the same as every other cheetah

-unique, like human finger prints

-similar to other big cats, like lions, tigers and leopards

 

Like all cheetahs, Chadwick has distinctive black markings that run from the inner corners of his eyes to the corners of his mouth.  They are known as:

-muzzle lines

-strength indicators

-tear marks

 

References: van Donge, Gloria (2017). Custom Built Book 2 in The Gifted Kid Book Series.

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Answers: Blog 12:  1.Chevron 2.Tiger 3.Christina 4.Lion 5.Chelsea 6.Charlotte 7.Chadwick 8.Leopard

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