By: Richard Swaidan

In a world where music can be someone’s light,
Lived a choir boy named Richie whose notes took flight.
He sang so beautifully with a tone so fair,
That the sound of his voice resembled a young maiden's prayer.
Though the children would tease him and laugh in jest,
Choir boy Richie, so resilient, gave nothing but his best.

This is his story....Once Upon a time

Ring, ring, ring, goes that noisy thing.
“It's time to get up Richie”, all the birds sing.

"You don't want to be late!",
Mom says in a worry.
“Get out of bed.”
“Let's hurry, hurry, hurry!”
“Up, up, up and on your feet!”

“Do I have to Mom?” “I'm beat-beat-beat.”
“I just want to sleep, sleep, sleep.”

“Eat some breakfast and take a shower.”
“Oh my, it's already half past the hour!”
“Don't forget to feed Buddy before you go.”

Buddy wags his tail saying,
“Hurry up, too slow, slow, slow.”

“My lunch is packed so no time for slackin'.”
“I did everything I needed so let's start packin'.”

“Check, Check, Check I got it all.”
“Goodbye Buddy boy my handsome furball.”

I locked the door with its loud click, click, clack.
“Oops, forgot my sheet music to put in my pack.”

“New friends, new teachers,
new choir class and sneakers.”
“I hope I'll see old friends out by the bleachers.”

“Ready and set its time to go.”
Mom says, “buckle up, for safety you know.”

Beep, beep, beep the car horns blow.
“So much traffic, let’s go, go, go.”

Finally there with no time to spare.
He grabbed his bags with little care.

“Have a great day”, his mom said with a smile.
“You too”, he replied dashing with style.

The school buildings were so old, bricky and tall.
And if he hurried, he'd make it to class on time after all.

"Hey Richie, over here," his bestie Coral yelled aloud.
“I'll be right there! What a busy morning crowd!”

They made their way to choir class and found two seats.
Not knowing what was ahead of them or what they'd have to beat.

Coral and Richie looked at the other students in awe;
for they seemed much more experienced than they ever saw.

Miss. Summer welcomed them with a toothy grin,
and said, “Great to see you all, Choir Class!”
"Let's begin!"

"I need to hear you all sing,
so what notes can your angelic voices bring?"

“Does anyone want to start?”
“I'll play the piano for your part.”

The class looked all around,
while nobody made a sound.

“Don't be afraid”, Miss. Summer said.
“Everyone's going to sing today before we end.”

“I'll go”, Richie said raising his hand in haste.
“Here's my sheet music. I hope I don't faint.”

Richie had to face a fear.
To sing in class, loud and clear.

He stood up as bold as could be, Ready to put his voice on show for all to hear and see.

He sang so high with notes that flew,
It impressed most the class and teacher too!

"You sing like a girl!", a kid shouted with glee.
But Richie wasn't worried or scared at all you see.

"At least he can sing! You silly thing.
Your voice sounds like a broken violin string.”, Coral clattered.

“Tee-hee-hee”, the kids in class chattered.
“Quiet down, down, down!”, Miss. Summer stammered.

“Be nice to each other. You should all be.”
“A boy ‘first soprano’, a rare talent to see.”
“Listen to his magical voice.”,
Miss. Summer said with glee.

Buzz, buzz, buzz, it's the end of class.
“The Great Talent Show is coming”, said
Miss. Summer with sass.

“Audition your flare and artistry for fun,
and show them all how it’s done.
A song, a dance or magic too,
try it all anything will do.”

“I’ll also give extra credit to whoever will win.”
“Eureka!”, Richie exclaimed with a grin.

“I need a brilliant idea to begin.”
“Coral, I need your help are you in?”
“Of course, I'm in! “Let's win, win, win!”

“I need something exciting and new to delight.
To amaze the crowd with song and might.”

Think, think, think Richie did at night.
Then it hit him like a bright light.

“They call me names and point their finger.”
“I'll become a famous girl opera singer.”

“Hey mom, can I borrow a wig, dress and heels?”
She said yes without fear of what others may think or feel.

So, Richie got ready with his newfound ambition.
To show off his skills, at the upcoming Great Talent Show competition.

“Dis, dis, dis, oh what a miss.”
“I just want to perform, that's my only bliss.”
“I sang my heart out last year, but sadly, to no avail.
The judges didn't pick me; my act appeared to fail.”
“I didn't know if I’d have my voice this year.
Getting older has it's challenges and fears.”

“Don't worry about the past” my mother said.
“You're already a winner in my heart and head.”

“Just remember…who you are.
You are my bright shining choir boy star.”

“Be you, be true, be bold”, she said.
“Now go on and get ready for bed.”

And Richie pushed onward, determined not to cower,
he practiced and practiced, hour after hour.

With a better act and song,
Richie returned again to prove them all wrong.

To razzle and dazzle and showcase his talents,
his voice must sing up, up, up high to all the planets.

As time went by, the Great Talent Show day was here,
And Richie gathered his courage to face his fear.

The crowd grew silent as the lights went dim.
Richie grew nervous from the side stage scrim.

A push and a shove from Coral she gave,
Richie flew to the center of the stage.

The audience gasped with oohs and awes,
as they silently waited with much anticipation and pause.

Wearing a wig, a dress, and heels galore.
The piano player yelled, “Sing!”
So, Richie let his voice soar!

His nerves faded with each note he sang to the crowd.
As his family, friends, and teacher watched happy and proud.

Even the bully was there to support.
And was very apologetic, so Richie was a good sport.

“Fa, la, la”, he sang.
Beautiful Music in the theater that rang.

A final note he sang so high,
it left a tear in everyone's eye.
Applause and a bow, they all stood up to cheer.
A moment to cherish in front of his peers.

“Bravo, bravo, bravo!”, the crowd yelled out.
“A standing ovation?! I could scream and shout!”

The curtains closed as Richie walked away.
Hoping today will be his special day.

The theater was loud full of cheer,
supporting choir boy Richie,
that's what’s special here!

He nervously waited to hear his name.
They called 3rd place and 2nd, but nothing came.

The announcer yelled, “Drum-roll please.”
And Richie gave Coral’s hand a squeeze.

“And the winner, winner, winner is...
Richie the Choir Boy, the best in the biz!”

Who would have thought it was true?
Richie won first place and the cheers in the theater grew!

Surprised and happy he took to the stage.
In a wig, dress, and was all the rage.
With an A+++ in Miss. Summers page.

He held his trophy up high for all to see.
Saying, “Thanks friends and family for believing in me.”

Now the moral of the story is real and true.
It happened to Richie, and it could happen to you.

No matter what people say or do, just keep trying, trying, trying, and remember to be you!

The End.