Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Groceries - deadline 8-23-12 10 am NY time (08/16/12)
TITLE: A Bell is Not a Bell Till you Ring it..
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Traveling to her small condo, she thought about her husband, Fred. Fred was owner and operator of Fred’s Automotive Parts on Cheshire Road. Because they both worked long hours, they seldom saw each other except at supper and on the weekends.
As she drove into the driveway, she was happy that the grocery shopping was over. She was tired and weary of dodging rude customers at Felton’s Grocery Mart. It was always the same; stressful, tiring and with too many choices. Now, at home, she had to put the groceries away and get back to work.
As she began to unload the groceries and put them away, she noticed something odd about some of the purchases. Two of the purchases did not belong to Reba. One was a toy for a small boy and another was a toy for a little girl. How did they get into her shopping bags? She made a frown as she looked at the toys because that would mean a trip back to the store and go through the hassle of getting a refund. She looked at her sales slip and noticed that she indeed did pay for them.
“Now, I remember!” There was a family ahead of me who had two children. They looked poor and she noticed that the mother was using food stamps to pay for the food. Somehow, the toys must have spilled over on to her stuff.
“Well, it’s back to the store and I’m going to be late for work! Maybe, I should just forget it. After all, I’m going to be late and I could give these items to my niece and nephew.”
As she thought about what to do, she recalled life lessons she learned from the Bible. Of course, one of the main themes of the Bible was honesty. Could she live with herself, knowing that somewhere out there was a little boy and a little girl who would not have the joy of playing with these toys?
She decided to take them back but before doing that, she made a call to the bank and said that she would be late.
“No problem. You can make it up tomorrow.” Shelia, one of the bank employees was usually understanding and that certainly helped.
As she opened the door to the grocery store, she saw the same woman, standing with her children at the end of the aisle.
“Hi! You don’t know me but I’m Reba Goodale and somehow your toys got into my groceries. I’m so glad you’re here because I know your children were missing them.”
The woman looked sad and worn but she replied in a whisper, “Thank you so much but I’m afraid Jeff, my son, put them in by mistake. I can’t take them. I’m low on money right now. The only reason I stayed was to see that you got a refund for them.”
Reba was taken aback at first but then replied, “Oh, that’s alright. That’s happened to me, too. Here, take them. They didn’t cost that much.”
The woman looked like she was going to cry but said, “Thank you so much. You don’t know what this means to me.”
She took the gifts and gave them to the children. The smiles on their faces made Reba smile and tears began forming in her eyes.
As the woman and children began to leave, Reba was glad that she gave the toys to the children and remembered words from a song that went,
“A bell is not a bell till you ring it; a song is not a song till you sing it. Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love, till you give it away….”
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