Gypsy was a cute little gray kitten with bright yellow eyes that were crossed. She would always run into things when she tried to go around them. She would proudly pick herself up and continue on her way. She didn’t understand why she kept running into everything. She felt as if she were terribly clumsy.
One bright sunny morning, the birds were singing high above and the smell of roses filled the warm air. Gypsy was sitting on the porch soaking up the morning sun. Across the yard, she saw her friends, Midge and Jake, enter the yard. Midge lived up the street from Gypsy and would come over to see her on the way to the park a couple mornings during the week.
“Hi Gypsy,” yelled Midge as she and Jake approached the porch.
“Hi Midge,” said Gypsy. “Hi Jake. Are you on the way to the park this morning?”
“Yes, do you want to come along with us today?” asked Midge.
“Sure,” said Gypsy. “Are you sure it’s okay for me to go with you?”
“You are always welcome to come with us to the park,” said Jake.
Gypsy was so excited. It wasn’t often that she would go for a walk or go to the park. With her little problem, she rarely would leave the yard. She didn’t want anyone to see her stumble into things. She tried so hard not to, but with the crossed eyes, things just didn’t appear as they were.
“Come on, the morning is quiet,” said Midge. “Maybe there won’t be many out and about and we can have a quiet walk to the park.”
“Are you sure you guys don’t mind walking with crazy me?” asked Gypsy.
“You’re not crazy, Gypsy,” said Midge. “You just have a small problem, but that is okay. We don’t mind one bit. You are our friend no matter what.”
The three started to walk up the street toward the park. As they ran across the park, Gypsy ran right into a tree. Suddenly from beyond the tree, she could hear loud laughter. She was so embarrassed by what had happened that she wanted to go home. She looked around for Midge, but she wasn’t near. ‘She is embarrassed to be with me,’ thought Gypsy. Tears started to roll down her cheeks. Then she heard the yelling and looked behind her. Midge was yelling at Baxter. He was the one who was laughing at her when she ran into the tree.
“Baxter! How could you be so cruel?” asked Midge. “Do you laugh at everyone’s handicaps? Are you that ignorant?”
“She is so clumsy,” laughed Baxter.
“But have you ever taken the time to get to know her and find out why?” asked Midge. “Have you ever once helped her when she has fallen?”
“No, but…” said Baxter.
“No buts,” said Midge. “Gypsy has a problem with her eyes. She tries so hard to be careful, but her eyes don’t focus as well as you and I. She tries and I think she is very brave for trying. Why don’t you come with me and apologize for your laughter and come meet Gypsy. I think if you get to know her, you will like her.”
Baxter lowered his head and followed Midge to where Gypsy was standing by the tree. After Baxter got to know Gypsy and found her to be normal in every way except for the slight problem with her eyes, they all became friends and Baxter came to understand that a handicap wasn’t something to laugh at. The laughter he enjoyed now was with Gypsy and not at her.