The naughty musician
Peterkin was a young and very gifted musician. He played the piano, violin and cello. Although he was only eight, he performed regularly for large crowds.
Everyday he would practise for hours but he had one glaring fault – he was very careless with his instruments and music books. He slammed the piano closed and chipped the ivory keys. The violin and cello were also badly treated. When he had finished practising, instead of replacing them in their cases, he would throw them on the floor, breaking the strings and damaging the beautifully varnished wood. His music books were also in a terrible state, covers torn, pages bent and many were missing.
It was not surprising that all those living in his music room, were very miserable. They just did not know what to do.
Then one day, the books suggested a way of teaching Peterkin a lesson. Peterkin was going to play the piano at a very important concert that night and he really wanted to do well.
The time for the concert arrived and the audience clapped. Peterkin walked onto the stage, sat down at the piano, turned his music sheets to the first piece, and placed his fingers on the keys.
The audience was hushed and expectant. Suddenly, an unexpected thing happened. As the young musician put his finger on a note, it jumped off the keyboard and floated into the air. Peterkin could not believe it. He reached for another one, but it followed the first one into the air. Within seconds, all the keys were dancing around in front of him. He jumped up and tried to catch them. The audience began to get impatient and then saw what was happening. They began giggling and laughing loudly.
Peterkin became angrier and angrier and redder and redder and was soon in tears. He put his head down on the empty keyboard and sobbed. He felt so humiliated.
All at once, the notes returned to their places and as they did so, they told him to take special care of his instruments and music in the future.
Peterkin stopped crying and began to play. His performance that night was better than ever before. He vowed then and there that he would never ill-treat his instruments again.
From that time on, he kept his piano clean and polished and always placed his violin and cello carefully in their cases after use.
Barbara Louise Gillman