Patrick, who was a clever little boy, enjoyed playing basketball, hockey and Nintendo but never cared about his homework. His teachers warned him that if he continued ignoring his homework, he would learn nothing and fall back in his semester. Patrick himself felt out of place sometimes because he did not know about the things his friends in school did. He saw himself as a big ‘ignoramus’, but he was still not bothered enough to focus on any studies. Outdoor sports were fun and interesting for him but sitting at home and doing homework was something that he hated!
Who Did Patrick’s Homework? – Summary
Patrick had a cat who had a habit of playing with his toys. One day, he found the cat playing with a little doll. Before the cat could chew and damage it, Patrick snatched the doll away from the cat. Then he realized that the cat was not playing with a doll. Actually, it was a tiny person who was trying to get away from the cat. The tiny man seemed afraid of the cat and pleaded to Patrick to keep the cat away. Patrick noticed what the little man was wearing, and he became curious. He wore a little wool shirt with old-fashioned britches and a tall high hat that looked like a witch’s top hat. The tiny man shouted out to Patrick for help – ‘Save me! Don’t give me back to that cat’. In return for this favor, the little man claimed to be an elf made Patrick a promise. The elf promised that he would fulfill one wish for Patrick to save him from the cat.
Patrick saw this incident as a golden opportunity to avoid doing homework for the rest of the semester. His semester was to end in the next thirty-five days, and he asked the elf to do his homework for him till then. If the elf really tried, he could earn some good grades like an A for his homework. This was the one condition set for Patrick’s help that the elf had to agree with. He wrinkled his nose in displeasure at the thought of doing homework but decided to do it. So, for the remaining thirty-five days of the semester, Patrick thought that he wouldn’t have to do any homework, and he was pleased with his good fortune.
The elf kept his promise and started going through Patrick’s schoolbooks to do his homework. However, there was still one problem that needed to be solved. The elf could not understand what was written in the books as he did not belong to the world of humans. He did not know history or maths, and he seemed confused about these subjects. At such times, he would call out to Patrick for help and poor Patrick, who thought he was free to play as much as he wanted, had to help the elf complete the given homework instead. When the elf needed to know the meanings of some words, he would ask Patrick to get the dictionary for him.
Once the little boy got the dictionary for the elf, he would make a new request – ‘look up the word and sound it out by each letter. The elf was relentless; he never allowed Patrick to catch a break. When it came to Maths, the elf was completely surprised! He kept asking what are times tables, fractions, multiplication, and division? All these concepts were unfamiliar to him. The loud elf got even louder as the homework became more difficult. He ordered Patrick to get him more and more books from the school library and asked him to read them out. Since the elves never needed all this, he required constant help from Patrick to solve all the questions.
The elf kept the boy on his toes, and it was clear that Patrick was working harder than ever. Due to the nagging and screaming of the elf, Patrick would stay up nights to complete his homework. He soon became tired and weary, and his eyes were swollen from studying so much. He had to go to school with puffy eyes, and he felt too exhausted. At last, the final day of school arrived, and the elf realized he had fulfilled his promise to Patrick. There was no more homework to do, and the elf planned his escape. When no one was looking, the elf quietly and slyly moved out the back door towards his freedom.
As for Patrick, he got an A grade in all his subjects. His parents, friends, and teachers were both surprised and proud of him. They were all praising him and wondering how he became so sincere in his studies. Since he was admired by everybody, Patrick’s behavior changed, and he became a really good boy. He cleaned his room, helped his parents with extra work, and even changed his attitude. The new Patrick was never rude to anybody and was always happy and polite. In the end, we come to know that all the hard work for the school homework was actually done by Patrick himself and the elf really did nothing. The elf had simply tricked him into giving his best. This secret is unknown to Patrick!
Who Did Patrick’s Homework Central Idea
The children’s short story, ‘Who did Patrick’s Homework’ was written by Carol Moore. It is a moral story based on imagination and magical realism. Here, a little boy invents a character in the shape of an elf who helps him learn how to focus on studies and homework. The imaginary elf comes into his life accidentally when Patrick does a good deed towards him by saving his life from the cat. The elf does not exactly do what the boy asks him to do but teaches him a very valuable lesson instead. The elf shows him that the shortest ways are the easiest, but hard work and resilience can reap more incredible benefits. The story is a message to all children that playing and being active is good, but it is equally important to learn and practice through homework as it will help you become more intelligent and knowledgeable. Everybody will praise you if you work hard and help others in life.
Who Did Patrick’s Homework Analysis
The story ‘Who Did Patrick’s Homework’ is an imaginary tale of a young little boy named Patrick who like most other children did not like doing his homework. Due to his interest in playing outdoor sports like basketball, he used to neglect his studies, for which his grades suffered in school. He was a bright and witty boy, but he was simply lazy when it came to focusing on his books. The character of the elf was implanted to help him realize that he too could do his own homework on time with a little push. The elf only pretended to grant him a wish and complete his homework for him by the end of the semester.
In reality, Patrick followed his own advice which he had given to the elf when he asked for his wish – ‘If you do a good enough job, I could even get A’s’. The elf knew nothing about human studies and subjects like arithmetic and history were all very new and confusing to him. Since the elf could not manage the homework on his own, Patrick had to do the work for him. In the next thirty-five days, the little boy slogged day and night to fulfill the elf’s demands. The elf’s commanding tone was the shove he needed to be veered in the right direction. Patrick had to obey because he needed to complete the homework by the end of the semester, or he would get in trouble at school and time was slipping away – ‘“Help me! Help me!” he’d say. And Patrick would have to help – in whatever way’. As Patrick avoided doing his homework earlier, he was forced to do double the work to catch up. His days were spent in the library, and nights were sleepless as he kept poring over more and more books.
The little boy’s plan of getting out of his tedious studies by getting the poor helpless elf to do his work backfired on him. In addition to the value of hard work and, the story teaches the children about selfless help. If Patrick had helped the little elf without any condition, he wouldn’t have been in this dilemma. It is important to do your own work on time, but it is also important to selflessly help others in need. Nevertheless, by the end of the story, we learn that Patrick’s efforts had paid off, and he was admired by his parents and friends for his high grades. The tiny strange elf slunk away from the backdoor the minute he was free before Patrick could realize that he had outsmarted him and tricked him into fulfilling his own wish! Sometimes, we need a bit of imagination to overcome our fears and take a leap of faith to do what seems daunting at first.