Punctual and Procrastinate: A Story Based on a Belgium Proverb
Especially for Boys
Mama and Papa Lion have two little lions:
Punctual and Procrastinate.
Punctual arrives fifteen minutes early, enjoys reading a book while waiting, and appreciates the respect others give him in return for being on time.
Procrastinate arrives late, frazzled, frumpled, and frustrated. He constantly races with the clock, misses deadlines, misses opportunities, and annoys anyone who tries to depend on him for anything.
Before hopping into bed each night, Punctual plans the next day. He sets his opportunity clock fifteen minutes earlier than needed to allow for a peaceful morning. He lays out his clothes and shoes.
Procrastinate stays up late playing games, forgets to set his clock, and falls asleep on the sofa.
When Punctual’s clock sings, he pops out of bed, says his prayers and runs down to meet Papa Lion for an early morning jog. They watch the exquisite sunrise as they breathe in the fresh air and smell the bacon as they pass a restaurant. Punctual and Papa feel invigorated, energized, and ready for the day.
Procrastinate misses the sunrise, fresh air, and the smell of bacon. He rolls off the sofa exhausted, yawns, and dreads the day.
For breakfast, Mama Lion makes Belgian waffles and fruity yogurt.
Punctual sets the table and hides a chocolate surprise in each napkin. Papa Lion rings the bell.
Procrastinate showers, looks for clean clothes, and dresses.
Mama, Papa, and Punctual enjoy warm waffles and cool, fruity yogurt.
By the time Procrastinate shows up, his waffles are cold, and the fruity yogurt is warm.
After breakfast, Punctual promptly does his chores, gets ready for school, and pops in the car as soon as Papa says, “Time to go. All aboard!”
Procrastinate races to collect the trash for the garbage can that he should have put out the night before.
Then he hears the rumble of the passing garbage truck.
“Oh no! Not again! The garbage already smells!”
Papa and Punctual wait in the car.
Next Procrastinate runs to grab his backpack. The clock chimes to remind him.
“Oh no! I’m late again!”
On the way to school, Papa Lion explains, “Being late is like stealing someone else’s time. Only you can’t replace time. You feel bad. Others are inconvenienced and there is no benefit. Tonight, you and I will practice racing to get ready. You need to apologize to Punctual and figure out how to make it up to him. Lastly, to help you wake up, you will go to bed thirty minutes earlier.”
When Procrastinate finally arrives at school, he has missed the last day for soccer sign-ups, checks into the office for his tardy slip, and hurries down the hall late to class.
After school, the Lion family is going to hear the Belgian National Orchestra.
Mama, Papa, and Punctual find their seats and enjoy some quiet conversation.
Procrastinate dawdles in the lobby and then uses the restroom.
When he tries to go in, the attendant tells him,
“I’m sorry. You will have to wait until this movement is over. It’s rude to interrupt the performance.”
As Procrastinate waits, he notices a sign,
Belgium Proverb: He who arrives too late finds the plate turned over.
Procrastinate decides it’s no fun being late. “I miss opportunities. I feel exhausted, stressed, and out of control. I inconvenience my family and friends. No one can depend on me. From this day on, I will arrive fifteen minutes early for everything.”
And do you know what? He isn’t Procrastinate anymore. He is Mr. Prompt and everyone can depend on him to arrive fifteen minutes early, peaceful and prepared.