Saturday, February 13, 2010




 At the prodding of my friends I am writing this story. My
 name is Mildred Honor and I am a
 former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines ,
. I have always supplemented my income by teaching

 piano lessons - something I have done for over 30
 During those years I found that
 children have many levels of musical ability, and
 even though I have never had the
 pleasure of having a  prodigy, I have taught some
 very talented students. However, I have also had
 my share of what
 I call 'musically challenged' pupils -
 one such pupil being Robby. 
 Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single
 mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson.
 I prefer that students (especially boys) begin at
 an earlier age, which I explained to Robby.
 But Robby said that it had always been his
 mother's  dream to hear him play
 the piano, so I took him as a student. 
 Well, Robby began his piano lessons and from
 the beginning I thought it was a hopeless
 endeavour. As much as Robby tried, he lacked
 the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But
 he dutifully reviewed his scales and some
 elementary piano pieces that I require all
 my students to learn.  Over the months he
 tried and tried while I listened
 and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of
 each weekly lesson he would always say 'My
 mom's going to hear me play someday'. But to me, it seemed
 hopeless, he just did not have any
 inborn  ability. 
  I only knew his mother from a distance as she
 dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to
 pick him up. She always waved and smiled, but
 never dropped in. 
 Then one day Robby stopped coming for his lessons..
 I thought about calling him, but assumed
 that because of his lack of ability he had decided
 to pursue something else. I was also glad that he
 had stopped coming - he was a bad avertisement
 for my teaching! 
 Several weeks later I mailed a flyer recital to
 the students' homes.To my surprise, Robby (who
 had received a flyer) asked me if he could be in
 the recital. I told him that the recital was
 for current pupils and that because he had dropped out,
 he really did not qualify. He told me that his
 mother had been sick and unable to take him to his
 piano lessons, but that he had been practicing.
 'Please Miss Honor, I've just got to play'
 he insisted. I don't know what led me to allow
 him to play in the recital - perhaps it was his
 insistence or maybe something inside of me saying that
 it would be all right. 
 The night of the recital came and the high school 
 gymnasium was packed with parents, relatives and
 friends. I put Robby last in the program, just before I was
 to come up and thank all the students and play a
 finishing piece. I thought
 that any damage he might do would come at the
 end of the program and I could always salvage his
 poor performance through my 'curtain

 Well, the recital went off without
 a hitch, the students had been practicing and it
 showed. Then Robby came up on the
 stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his hair looked
 as though he had run an egg beater through it.
 'Why wasn't he dressed up like the other
 students?'  I thought. 'Why didn't his
 mother at least make him comb his hair for this 
 special night?' Robby pulled out the piano bench,
 and I was surprised when he announced that he had
 chosen to play Mozart's Concerto No. 21 in C Major. I
 was not prepared for what I heard next. His fingers
 were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the
 ivories. He went from pianissimo to fortissimo, from
 allegro to virtuoso; his suspended chords that Mozart
 demands were magnificent! Never had I heard Mozart played so
 well by anyone his age. 
 After six and a half minutes he ended in a
 grand crescendo, and everyone was on their feet in
 wild applause! Overcome and in tears, I ran up on stage and
 put my arms around Robby in joy. 'I have never heard you
 play like that Robby, 
 how did you do it?' Through the microphone Robby
 explained: 'Well, Miss Honor .... remember I told
 you  that my mom was sick? Well, she actually had
 cancer and passed away this morning. And well ..... she
 was  born deaf, so tonight was the first time she had
 ever heard me play, and I wanted to make it
 There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As
 the people from Social Services led Robby from the
 stage to be placed in to foster care, I noticed that
 even their eyes were red and puffy. I thought to
 myself then how much richer my life had been for taking
 Robby as my pupil. No, I have never had a prodigy, but
 that night I became a prodigy .... of Robby. He was the
 teacher and I was the pupil, for he had taught me the
 meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself,
 and may be even taking a chance on someone and you
 didn't know why. 
 Robby was killed years later in the senseless
 bombing of the Alfred P.  Murray Federal Building
 in Oklahoma City in April,  1995. 


Anonymous said...

Touching. 2 key words, Perseverance and Love. If only we have more in our human heart and head.

Naksam said...


Where the hell do get all these beautiful stories. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Happy CNY.

raj raman said...

Heart touching.
Normally i read fast but this "soul touching"

rajraman666.Happy CNY Malaysian.
We are racial but not racist.
Thank you.

nstman said...

A tale like no other. A tale of love, perseverance, tolerance, forgiveness. The best ever Chinese new year present in a world gone mad. By the way, pray for Rockybru, a kind soul who has been blinded by greed and power.

The Way I See It said...

Uncle.. a very strong story.. tqvm..

Have a happy CNY.. God bless u..

storm62 said...

"Gong Xi Fa Cai" to Zorro and all here.....selamat tahun hari hari mau.

Chan said...

Thanks Bernard. Kongsi Fa Cai!

Anonymous said...

Wish you and your family Ging Xi Fa Cai.

This story is heart wrenching and goes to show that perseverance and love can make anyone achieve the unachievable. And the moral of the story "always encourage others to aim high' for success.

Wenger J. Khairy said...

Kepada Tuan Pengarang Portal Sorro Unmasked,

Salam 1Malaysia,

1.Disini saya ingin memohon jasa baik tuan dalam hal yang berikut.

2.Kita sedar, sudah bertahun tahun, Pak Lah diselar oleh kawan baik diktator diktator sedunia (KBDDS) dalam kes MV Augusta.

3.Sebagai pengenalan, saham MV Augusta, iaitu sebuah syarikat yang mengalamai krisis kewangaan yang teruk dibeli oleh KBDDS pada harga yang cukup tinggi iaitu RM 560 juta. Ini langkah bodoh dan kita tertanya tanya, adakah anak KBDDDS mendapat syer dalam pembeliaan tersebut.

4.Setelah PM-5 mengambil alih, syarikat yang mati tak segan, mampus tak mahu dijual dalam proses bernama divesmen. Ini kerana syarikat tersebut menanggung hutang yg cukup tinggi - iaitu lebith RM 400 yang belum dijelaskan.

5.Mungkin KBDDS tak paham beza membeli saham dengan menanggung hutang.

6.Kemudian KBDDS ni cuba mengungkit cerite lama dalam laman blog haram jadahnya.

7.Lebih lebih lagi ada pengkomentar telah mencabar saya untuk memberi pandangan.

8.I kuota:

By jimi on February 12, 2010 12:24 AM
dearest Tun,
Surely Tun would like to hear advice n views of Wenger J khairy on the subject.He seems to know more on many subjects than Tun.I personally would love to read comments and advice from Wenger J Khairy of the wisdom the previous administration in selling MV Agusta. I could have bought it at RM10 and ask them to keep the change.
Nway,thanks Tun for sharing updating and educating us Malaysians. Tun, you are our most valuable asset.

9.Wenger J. Khairy orang yang pantang dicabar. Lalu saya merungkai segala misteri berkenaaan MV Augsuta dan memaparkan kisahnya dlm bentuk ceramah supaya senang difahami oleh penyokong2 Tun.

10.Saya tidak berkomen panjang lebar dilaman blog haram jadahnya. Saya hanya berkata saya telah menjawab tomahan terkhutuk KBDDS dalam posting saya di Wenger At War.

11.Terpulang kepada para pembaca samada nak terus teruja kepada KBDDS ataupun berdepan dengan "THE TRUTH."

12.Akan tetatpi KBDDS telah menahan komen saya menggunakan ISA. Dia dulu yang komplen tiada diberi wadah untuk bercakap kini menggunakkan taktik lama tidak mahu berdepan dengan kritikan.

13.Ini pendekataan yang cukup bacul.

14. Oleh demikian saya meminta jasa baik tuan untuk memberi pautan kepada cerite tersebut.

Ada dua versi.

Versi Ceramah (baca sambil meghirup mee maggi)

Versi Ringkas (baca sampil kena leter oleh isteri

Terima Kasih,

Saya Yang Pantang Di Cabar

Wenger J Khairy

Anonymous said...

wah... marah betul wenger j khairy ni, tapi aku rasa uncle zorro tak lah minat sangat dengan caca merba puak bn..., sebab dia dah tahu dari awal lagi berkenaan mv agusta ni

sanjiun said...

Happy Roaring CNY to you and family, Uncle Zorro!!!

Never Give Up said...

Very moving story. May Perakians also persevere and never, never give up fighting for justice in the Silver State.

In the fight for justice in Perak, the Perakians will never have to walk alone in their fight, millions of Malaysians from all over the country will contribute their support in one way or another to the cause of justice.

And Keong Hee Huat Chye to Uncle Zorro and family.

motherchell said...

Dear Zorro,
The gems of the gems ,
Thank you,
Wishing you and everyone a ROAR of a wonderful CNY.


Anonymous said...

I woke up at 4pm this chinese new year day

and your story is an amazing read

there are lessons that i may take from this story

kong hee fa chai to you and all your

good readers


Anonymous said...

touching, touching.

you have a great great new year, you good oldman.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Uncle Bernard,

The story was touching and portrays what perseverance can do to a person.

By the way Happy Chinese New Year to you and all the people out there.

May the year of the Tiger brings greater tenacity to your fighting spirit and cause for the betterment of mankind.

Anonymous said...

Happy new year to u and your loved ones.

Eric said...

Gong xi fa chai Uncle Z!

We'll do everything we can so that this SPECIAL COUPLE will make it back home soon.

Let's ride the Tiger till then, shall we?