Brave Boys in Paper Houses

He lived his life sitting inside,

He didn’t like the outdoor air.

He spent his days in a paper house

Away from every stare.

The house was brittle and flimsy,

But it kept him hidden from sight.

He said he was angry at the world,

And staying away was winning the fight.

Then one day, he heard laughter

Through his paper windowpane.

The laughter spread across paper curtains

In a curiously shaped ink stain.

He tried to clean the curtains,

He scrubbed each night and day.

But the ink stain only came back each time

That the children returned to play.

He pulled the curtains to, and steeled himself;

He told himself that he was brave.

The laughter was inappropriate.

His dignity was his to save.

But the laughter always haunted him,

It even entered into his dreams.

He lay awake in a paper house

That was falling apart at the seams.

It was bravery that kept him there.

Bravery kept him strong.

He was brave to stand out from the crowd,

And to refuse to be strung along.

He didn’t want to follow the masses,

He wanted to stand out.

So he stood alone in his paper house,

Where only he was about.

But the laughter kept on chasing him,

Cutting through his paper wall.

He didn’t like how small he felt

When his bravery should have made him tall.

One morning, bright and early.

There was a knock on his paper door.

When he didn’t answer, the letter slot opened,

And a note fell to the paper floor.

The note asked him to come outside,

And he bravely threw it away.

He didn’t need others to be happy, he said,

To have fun, he didn’t have to play.

For ages, he pretended and ignored the note,

And his paper house grew more and more small.

He suddenly noticed how his house had grown weak;

It concerned him that one day it may fall.

One day, he finally ventured outside,

His heart was in his throat.

It stuck and he found he couldn’t talk,

Nor speak a single note.

Another little boy came forward,

And he said, “Don’t be afraid.

“I know you haven’t been out before,

But I’ll teach you the rules of what we’ve played.”

So the brave boy left the paper house,

And was amazed at how well he’d fared.

For the bravest thing he’d ever done

Was admitting that he was scared.

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