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Patrick Plays Peekleball
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Patrick sat in his room after school, wondering what to do.
He was sick and tired of Bully Bob making fun of his size every day.
Just when he thought he had heard every insult such as fatso, chubby, tubby, blimp, blob, slob, roly poly, and whale, Bob would come up with a new one, like lardo.
Patrick knew he was overweight and the heaviest kid in his 4th grade class, maybe the entire elementary school, as well.
He also knew he spent too much time playing video games and didn't get enough exercise.
Before going to bed Patrick stood in front of his mirror and said, "I need to change."
During the night, in a dream, Patrick watched several small people with pointy ears and pointy hats using little rackets to hit a little ball over a little net. One of the players approached.
"Hello, Patrick, my name is Pete, the Peekleball Pixie. You can call me Peekleball Pete, do you like Peekleball?"
"Hi, Peekleball Pete, it looks fun, why is it called peekleball?"
"Because peek means to look quickly and we Pixies always take a peek before we make a shot."
"So we know where to place the ball."
"I get it; I wish they played this game in my world."
"Oh, but they do my boy. Humans discovered our 200-year-old game in 1965 and renamed it Pickleball."
"Pickleball, like pickles you eat?
"And do you know what humans call people who play every day?"
"So are you ready for a lesson?"
"Yes I am."
They batted the ball back and forth.
Pete taught Patrick how to serve, how to hit forehands, backhands, overheads, lobs, and dinks, and how to score.
"Thanks," said Patrick, "I could play all day long."
"I think, with practice, you could become a very good player."
At breakfast, Patrick told his parents and sister about his nighttime adventure.
"I want to try Pickleball," he said, and to his surprise, they all decided to try it too.
They learned it was offered at the local community center and began playing on a regular basis.
For his school's Show and Tell, Patrick passed around a racket and ball and told his class all about Pickleball.
When he finished a girl raised her hand and asked, "Can girls play?"
"Definitely, my mother and sister play."
Another girl asked, "Is that how you lost so much weight?"
"Yes," he said, blushing.
Then, Bully Bob raised his hand and asked, "Can you teach me how to play?"
Patrick could not believe his ears "Sure, Bob."
'Come to think of it,' thought Patrick, 'Bob had not bothered him since his dream, maybe Peekleball Pete had something to do with it?'
After Patrick's excellent presentation, his teacher decided to play Pickleball herself and with her assistance, nets were put up in the gym.
Patrick became the Pickleball ambassador for his school.
Bob became one of the best players and an instructor too, and said to Patrick, "I owe it all to you."
Before long, many girls and boys were playing 5 days a week at school and on weekends at the community center.
"Pickled," said Patrick.
When Christmas arrived, Patrick discovered a surprise under the tree.
The tag said, 'To Patrick from Peekleball Pete.'
Strange thought Patrick.
He opened the package and smiled, the following words were printed on his present:
OFFICIAL PEEKLEBALL RAQUET-large.
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