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Yes, I'll do the operation he said. "Shall I pay you now," said Hans.  "No. I will not charge you any money," he said, "Take the money you have saved and go and buy the ice skates that you want so very much."  He had come to like Hans very much. This was partly because he saw how much Hans loved his father but there was another reason.  Hans reminded him of his own boy whom he loved. The boy had made him very happy but one day the he had gone away and never come back. Dr Boekman never managed to find out where the boy was. He never felt happy again. He always felt miserable and was always cross to his patients and to everyone he met. No one liked him but they saw that he was a very good doctor.

Dr Boekman did the operation and very soon Hans's father began to get better. Dr Boekman came to see him often and was very pleased with his progress.
Hans bought some steel skates and practised hard for the skating competition.  "Good luck!" said Dr Boekman. "I will come and see the competition.."

                                                                                                      Gretel skating

The competition was in 2 classes: one for the boys and one for the girls. The girl's competition was first. Gretel came first in the skating race and then she had to skate around and pretend to be a butterfly. Other girls had to skate around as other animals and birds. When the judges gave their marks Gretel was well ahead. When the marks were added up for the two parts of the competition Gretel was the winner and she was presented with a pair of silver skates. 



Michael Skating 

In the boy's section Hans came in second in the skating race. He was a little bit disappointed but he was very pleased that his friend Michael was the winner. "Congratulations Michael," he shouted. In the second section Michael had to skate as if he was a cat and he did very well. Hans smiled and waved to him. Now Hans," said the judge, "You are to skate as a kangaroo." Hans skated around and managed to make jumps on the ice. The Judge announced that he was the winner.  

When all the marks were added up Hans was the winner of the boys section of the competition. Michael came across to say congratulations. And someone else was standing waiting to congratulate Hans. It was Dr Boekman. But now something strange happened. Dr Boekman saw Michael and Michael saw him. Michael turned to run away but there was a crowd around and he could hardly move. "Please don't run away again," said the doctor. "I must speak to you! It really is all right." "But I killed a man!" said Michael." I sent him the wrong medicine."

"You did not. I saw the mistake and he never took that medicine." Michael just stood and stared but Dr Boekman came and threw his arms around him. "Michael my son. I have found you at last."

Hans just stood there and looked very puzzled. "I am sure you are wondering what all this means." said Dr Boekman. "You tell him your story first Michael." "I am Dr Boekman's son. Sometimes he would make up  his own medicines and pour them into a bottle. A boy from our village used to take them out to the patients. Dr Boekman wanted me to become a doctor like him so he showed me how to make up the medicines. One day I made a mistake and mixed the wrong things together. I went out to practise skating and when I returned I found out what I had done. I was just about to run over and tell the patient when his wife came in with a message that the man was dead. I was terrified. I thought the police would come and arrest me. They might even say I had murdered the patient. I could not face my father and tell him what had happened. I ran away and got a job. I am now a carpenter and make wooden furniature. I am hoping to get my own shop."

"Well," said Dr Boekman, "While you were out skating I came back home and looked at the bottles. The liquid in one of them seemed to be the wrong colour. Then I noticed that the poison bottle was nearly empty and I knew what had happened. I took the bottle that you had made up and poured it down the sink. I made up some fresh medicine for the patient and it was taken out to him. I was going to tell you what happened but then someone came and said, 'My mother is very ill. Please come at once.' When I came home again you had gone. The patient who got the medicine did die but he never drank any poison. I did everything I could to find you and every day I have been hoping to see you again."
"Now Michael. I would still like you to go and learn to be a doctor." Michael thought hard. "No," he said at last." I hope I do not disappoint you too much but I have become a good carpenter and I thinking I will be happier doing that."

"But doctors make sick people well.. " said Hans, "Surely That is the most wonderful job in the world. I would love to do that!"
"Now Hans!" said Dr Boekman. "If Michael wants to be a carpenter it is not right for you to try and make him change his mind. But would you really like to be a doctor? "

"Oh Yes," said Hans. "I have seen how you made my father better and I really would like to be able to make sick people well. But my father could never be able to afford to send me to college to learn to be a doctor."
"I will pay for you to go to college," said Dr Boekman but you must promise to work very hard indeed. There will be times when you feel tired and want to give up but you must keep trying." "I know I will have to work very hard," said Hans. "I promise I will do that."

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