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“Great job, everyone. You’ve conquered the climbing wall!” said Andy, the instructor. “We’ll get out on the water this afternoon. But it’s important to look after your equipment, so I need some people to sort out these ropes and coil them properly.”

Most of the group shifted uneasily on their feet, hoping they wouldn’t be picked, but one hand shot up.

“I’ll do it,” said Luke. “I know how to coil them properly. I learnt all about it when I was climbing in the Grand Canyon.”

There were groans from the rest of the group. This was not the first time Luke had mentioned his holiday. The Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood Boulevard, shows in Las Vegas…the list seemed endless. And now he had added climbing in the Grand Canyon.

“Thanks, Luke. And I need someone else.” Andy looked around the group, but everyone avoided his gaze. “Charlie, can you help Luke?”

Charlie looked at Andy in horror. “No way! Why do I have to do it?”

“Charlie!” The group’s teacher, Mrs de Silva, shot her a warning glance.

“Why do I always get picked on? Get someone else do it!” She made a rude gesture with her fingers and stormed off toward the residential centre.

“Sorry, Andy,” said Mrs de Silva, hurrying after Charlie.

Andy was momentarily distracted, but gathered himself and carried on: “Right, people, let’s get back to the centre. Lunch is in half an hour. Luke, can you sort those ropes out on your own?”

“Of course. Won’t take me a minute!”

Charlie made her way back to the climbing tower. She had managed to avoid Mrs de Silva by hiding behind the racks of canoes beside the lake, but she would have to face the music at lunch. She wouldn’t get away with disrespecting the instructor like that. The least she could do was help out with the ropes.

She looked around. The pile of ropes was still there, as tangled as they had been before, but there was no sign of Luke.

“Where is he?” Charlie said to herself. “I bet he’s never been climbing in his life. He probably never even went to America.” She sat on a tree stump and started coiling up the ropes.



  • Who did what Andy asked them to do?
  • What do you think about the way Luke and Charlie acted?
  • What might happen next in the story? How would Mrs de Silva deal with them both?
  • Have you ever been in the same position as Charlie? What happened?
  • Have you ever acted like Luke? What did you do (or not do)?

This story is based on Matthew 21:28-32. Read the passage with your group and compare it with this one. Discuss what Jesus might have been saying through his story, encouraging the young people to think about the parable in a new way.

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