Vicky’s naturally cheerful nature is often put under strain by the frustrations she experiences through her left-handedness, but then she learns that being left-handed has its own advantages – and in a quite spectacular way.
This is a story for children in the 7-10 age group.
The second part of the book will be advice on how to help left-handers and facts about left-handedness – how to tell if a child is left-handed - the correct way for a left-hander to hold a pencil and to slant the paper – famous left-handers - percentage of the population who are left-handed – career choices for left-handers – cultural issues for left-handers etc.
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“Stop nudging me!”
“I’m not. You’re nudging me,” Vicky said crossly. She hated sitting in the desk next to Graham. He’d ruined her drawing. The cat’s whiskers were all bent, as if it had a TV aerial coming out of its head. She angrily rubbed them out.
Graham always wanted to sit near the window, so Vicky had to sit on his right, and because she was left-handed their elbows kept knocking.
“Why are you so clumsy?” Graham said.
“I’m not clumsy,” snapped Vicky. She’d tried using her right hand, but it felt awkward.
“Yes, you are. You can’t do high jump and you can’t hit a ball.”
She felt like kicking him. But she knew he was right. She always knocked over the high jump bar. She was small for ten, but she was sure she could do better if she ran at it from the other side and took off with her left foot, but Miss Watson looked at you fiercely and tutted if you made a fuss. And when she showed the class how to hold the bat for baseball and for cricket everyone was expected to copy the way she did it, and Vicky could never manage to hit the ball properly.
She was glad drawing was the last lesson. Soon the bell would sound and they could go home. Asha was coming round and they were going to decide which races they would enter for sports day. She doubted she could win any races, but if she chose carefully, she could at least try not to come last. She shuffled her chair, turned her back to Graham and carried on with her drawing.
When Asha arrived at Vicky’s she found Vicky sitting on her bed frowning at her sewing. She was embroidering a cushion cover for her Gran. She hadn’t seen her for a long time, but her Grandpa had died, and now her Gran was coming all the way from England for a holiday. Her Gran would be sad and Vicky was trying to find ways to make her happy again.
“Will your Gran be here for sports day?” asked Asha.
“Yes,” said Vicky. “If only I could win a race. If I made her proud of me perhaps she would forget about being sad.”
“We could try the sack race,” said Asha, moving aside Vicky’s clutter of CD’s and fluffy dogs and cats, and flopping down on the bed beside her. “We can use bin liners to practice.”
“Sipho usually wins the sack race,” said Vicky, trying hard to get the stitches right. “Or Graham. He’s got long legs and can jump further.’
“Like a frog,” giggled Asha.
“I wish he would hop it,” said Vicky, and they both laughed.
“That’s a good name for him, Hoppit,” said Asha, and they laughed so much that tears came to their eyes.
“Maybe we should try the egg and spoon race. Graham and Sipho don’t usually enter that.” Asha sprang off the bed. “Let’s ask your Mom if we can boil some eggs.”
“I’ll just finish this corner first.” Vicky jabbed the needle into the pale green satiny fabric that kept slipping through her fingers. She sewed a couple of stitches and then stopped, frowning. They didn’t match the ones her mother had made to start her off. “I’ll never get this right,” she sighed.
“Let me see.” Asha picked up the sewing and studied the untidy pink stitches. Vicky watched, her arms crossed and her bottom lip turned out. Asha’s Grandmother wore colourful sari’s, and tops with delicate embroidery and had taught Asha how to sew.
“You’ve started from the wrong end,” said Asha. “Perhaps you should turn the sewing upside down and start again.
Vicky looked unhappily at the cushion cover. It was already grubby and full of tiny puncture holes where she’d had to unpick previous mistakes. Her Mom had started sewing from the right and Vicky had started from the left.
Asha had seen Vicky struggling to use the can opener, and the blisters the scissors gave her if she had to do a lot of cutting out. Even the pencil sharpener was the wrong way round for Vicky. “I’ll help you if you like,” she offered.
“I wanted to do it myself,” said Vicky, sulkily. She’d begun the cushion cover with such high hopes. Now there was less than a week until her Gran arrived and it wasn’t nearly finished.
“I’ll unpick for you. Then I’ll sit in front of you and do a few stitches - like in a mirror.
“All right,” Vicky reluctantly agreed. “We can do it while the eggs boil.”
Asha watched to make sure Vicky didn’t go wrong. Soon the corner of the cushion cover began to look like a pink rose. Vicky was almost proud of it. Perhaps the stitches round the edge weren’t all the same size. But the rose actually looked like a flower, and surely not all leaves were supposed to be the same shape? When she’d done the other corner and it was washed and ironed she was sure it would look much better.
“Come on, the eggs must be ready,” said Vicky. The girls raced to the kitchen. Vicky fished out the eggs with a scoop while Asha found them two tablespoons.
“Mind, it’s hot,” warned Vicky, sliding an egg onto the spoon. They carried them carefully to the garden. ........