The Youth Who Could Not Shiver or Shake

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The blog post for today is a story I wrote over twenty years ago. I have made some changes from the original and tightened the grammar. As many of you read the story, I am sure it will be familiar. So without further ado the children’s story “The Youth, Who Could Not Shiver or Shake.”

Last week a new boy joined my eleventh-grade homeroom class. We clicked immediately. His name is Mike Patterson, and I think there is a possibility he will ask me out. Instead, he asked me: “How do you shiver and shake?” I could not believe it he asked me a stupid question! I figured maybe he asked it because he was afraid to ask me out on a date. Except it turned out he was serious. Mike wanted to know how do you shiver and shake.

I wasn’t going to hurt his feelings, so I suggested Mike see a scary movie to shiver and shake all over. He then asked: “Will you go to with me to see the movie?” I couldn’t believe it – Mike was, after all, asking me out. Of course, I said yes. He then asked if a week from Saturday was good. I said it was and gave him my address so he could pick me up. With a smile on my face, I went to my history class.

Later that same day, Mike and I met again. I asked why he wanted to know how to shiver and shake. Prior to coming to Boston, he and his family lived on a farm in Kansas. Everyone worked hard on it except for him. He was lazy and often made his brother William do his chores. When it was time for the produce to be sold in town, his father would ask his brother to go. William would tell their father going alone would make him shiver and shake all over. So Mike would end up going with William to town and as they traveled that time and many others he would wonder to himself what it meant to shiver and shake. He asked his brother, who gave him a strange look, so he tried asking others. Sometimes he was laughed at and other times he would get ignored. Despite this, he was determined to – one way or another – find out what it meant to shiver and shake. I knew then I was going to help Mike.

Well, the evening of our date came faster than I expected. Right at five Mike picked me up, and we rode together to the movie theater in town. Just before we reached the ticket counter to purchase the tickets, he asked me which movie we should see. I told him Gremlins 2. Mike nodded his head and then told the person at the counter what tickets he wanted. Moments later as we were about to head to the designated screening room, I asked Mike if he would buy me popcorn and soda. He did. Then we went inside to locate our seats. I got scared as we watched the movie, but Mike was perfectly calm. It made me glad he had bought me the soda. I waited until his full attention was on the film. When he was sitting forward, entranced on the movie action, I took off the plastic lid and poured the ice down the back of his shirt. I then sat back and waited. Within moments I heard screaming — it was Mike. I turned and saw he was shivering and shaking all over. The other people in the people were not thrilled, and I heard hushing noises and demands to get it together. With a few minutes, Mike was calm enough to see the last of the movie. Once it was finally over Mike thanked me for teaching him how to shiver and shake.