Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Bedtime Story (4/5/2016)

This week's story is dedicated to everyone who wonders about the world around them.

To listen to it as a podcast, click here.

Curious Kevin

Kevin was always asking questions.  His mind never stopped whirring; he was curious about absolutely everything.  He was always asking "how does this work?" or "what does it do?"  

Over the years, Kevin had gotten into quite a few scrapes because of his overly curious mind.  Like the time he got his arm stuck down the toilet, because he was trying to find out what happened when you flushed.  Or, the day he climbed to the top of his local church tower, because he wanted to see the bells ringing.  And who could forget the school trip to the biscuit factory?!  Kevin had kicked up quite a fuss when it was time to go home; all he wanted to do was stay and watch the machines!

Kevin's bedroom was like a science lab, with lots of little projects he was working on, all lined up on his shelves.  There was the cap with a fan built in, to keep people cool in the Summer.  There was the watering can with three hoses, so you could water lots of plants at once.  And of course, there was his beloved skateboard-rocket, powered by his mum's old hairdryers.

Kevin loved nothing more than finding out how things worked and building his own inventions.  At school, his friends called him 'Curious Kevin."  And Kevin really didn't mind - he was curious about things!

One day, Kevin's mum and dad bought him a book, called 'How To Build ANYTHING From Scratch."  Inside, the book really did seem to teach you how to make pretty much everything; lights, engines, even a radio.  Kevin was over the moon!  He started work right away.

His parents got used to Kevin disappearing up into his room for hours on end.  They got used to the constant sound of hammering and the frequent odd requests for items:

"Mum?  Can I have a pack of six light bulbs, please?"
"Dad?  Do we have a big pack of batteries?"

Eventually, the requests got even stranger and Kevin's parents had to take him to specialist electrical shops and DIY stores to buy all the things he needed for his inventions.  And whilst Kevin's friends would all disappear to the park, or to the cinema at weekends, Kevin stayed in his room, learning how to create all kinds of masterpieces.  His friends stopped calling round for him in the end.  Some of the kids at school even started to pick on him for being different and, as time went on, Kevin's parents began to worry about all the time he spent by himself, finding out how things worked and making his own machines.  They thought it was a little strange.  But Kevin was very happy, feeding his curiosity.  He really didn't want to do anything else.

Kevin kept his work a secret.  Whenever anyone asked what he was making, he would simply smile and reply: "You'll see."

Weeks went by, until one night, the family were sitting together, watching television.  A storm was being whipped up outside.  "Hmm," Kevin's dad sighed.  "I don't like the look of this weather.  We'll be lucky if our power lasts, tonight."

Kevin's ears pricked up and he grinned a mysterious grin.

Sure enough, less than hour later, there was a little popping noise and suddenly, all the lights went off in the house.  The television turned off and everything went black and eerily quiet.  

"Oh!  I don't like it..." Kevin's mum whimpered, fumbling around in the dark for a candle and a match.

"Don't worry," Kevin beamed, through the blackness.  "I've been preparing for this!"

Flicking on the torch he kept in his trouser pocket, Kevin disappeared up the stairs.  His parents frowned at one another, as their son bumped and banged about in his room for a while, before coming back down, carrying a big box, full of equipment.  He lay a long plank of wood across the coffee table.  Six light bulbs stood along the plank, with a thin wire connecting each one.  The wire led to a big battery pack, with a switch.  When Kevin flicked the switch, the bulbs came on and the room was filled with light, once more.

"That's amazing!"  Kevin's dad gasped.  "We won't have to sit in the dark!"

"That's not all," Kevin chuckled.  He placed a little metal box on the table and wound it up.  It crackled into life and music began to play.

"Is that a wind-up radio?"  His mum beamed.  "Oh, Kevin, you're so clever!  Now we've got light and entertainment!"

Within minutes, the neighbours began to arrive.  They'd seen the front room full of light and wondered how Kevin's family had power, when the rest of the street was in darkness!  Soon, the room was filled with people, smiling and talking - some even dancing to the music coming from the radio!  They stayed until late, with everyone telling Kevin what a genius he was.

"I'm not a genius," Kevin replied, with a smile.  "I'm just curious!"

From then on, nobody teased Kevin about his love of finding out how things worked, or his desire to make his own inventions.  Everyone realised how clever he was and what a special talent he had.

And as for Kevin?  Well, he just carried on being curious!


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