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Photo ofAli Hassan

Growing up I was always a curious kid. I wanted to try and do everything even when I was told no, which made me want to do things even more just to see what would happen. 

One day thirteen years ago I got a taste of my own medicine. See, I lived in Chelsea for a long time and I like to consider it to be home. I lived around an alright neighborhood where there were a lot of things to do and I guess that's where I got my curiosity from. I loved to explore the neighborhood and do things that gave me a thrill. I started with little things like jumping down a set of stairs or skateboarding without a helmet or knee pads. Even though these adventures were exciting, they often led to cuts and bruises. 

I couldn't fight the urge to try this one thing that always sat at the back of my head. I felt that today was the day to try it. I wanted to go for it, but the only problem was that I had to wait and wait for the right opportunity to try. 

One day, BOOM! It happened. My dad was getting ready for work and the iron was on the ironing board and he was using it to iron his clothes. He had walked away from the iron for just a second. I was a little kid, so the ironing board was taller than me. It always made me wonder what it would be like to try to iron. I knew I wanted to give it a shot. I decided to grab the iron, even though my dad had always told me not to. I didn't know what all the fuss was about so I pulled the cord down. 

Suddenly, it slammed right on top of my hand. I started to scream and cry, but I was too scared to pick the iron up, so I let it sit on the back of my hand burning my skin. It was the worst pain I had ever felt at the time. My father rushed in, grabbed the iron, and brought me to the hospital. I ended up with second-degree burns and a cool-looking scar on my hand. 

Now I'm way more cautious with the things I do because the experience honestly mentally and physically scarred me. I realized that I have to think about my actions because everything has consequences. The whole situation got me thinking of the saying “Curiosity killed the cat.” I just happened to be the cat.  

© Ali Hassan. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.