Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GREED (03/08/18)
TITLE: You Just Make Awful Good Cookies
By Wilma Schlegel
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“Addison, you know better than that! Get yourself into the washroom and clean up. You smell like those llama stalls!” his mother scolded.
Addison scowled but stomped to the washroom, his shoulders slumped .
“That’s much better. Would you like some grapes?” Edie asked when her much cleaner son came back.
“No, I want something good,” he stated.
“Like a cookie?” Edie smiled.
“OK, you can have a cookie,” Edie brought the jar to the table.
“Just one?” Addison was scowling again.
“A cookie and some grapes and a glass of milk.” Edie offered.
“No, I just want cookies. How many can I have?” Addison demanded.
“You can have as many as you can get out of the jar in one handful.” Edie had heard this trick used before and hoped for a teachable moment. Her son’s attitude was unacceptable. The cookies were meant for everyone and it was time he learned the world didn’t revolve around him.
Addison smiled a superior smile and reached his hand in, spreading greedy fingers over a fistful. Pulling the hand out was not easy. His fist, swollen with his desired haul, would not fit back through the opening. He frowned. He turned his hand one way and the other. One cookie fell back into the jar. He reached with his fingers and grabbed it again. He squeezed his hand tightly around the cookies determined that he should have what he wanted. The cookies in his hand crumbled and crumbs fell as he pulled his fist from the jar.
His final haul consisted of a few large chunks and countless crumbs which were more annoying than if he had only gotten one whole cookie.
He slammed his hand on the table and started to yell. “That wasn’t fair. Why did you make me do something that was wasting the cookies? You’re dumb.
“Young man, I was trying to show you that you shouldn’t be greedy.”
“I wasn’t, I just wanted cookies and you ruined them.”
Edie closed her eyes and sent a quick prayer for wisdom and patience. Being a parent was so hard – especially when the children were so much like their parents. As the saying goes, she thought, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ but maybe that was a poor choice of words.
It wasn’t so long ago, they had lived in the beautiful gardens. All their needs had been met and work had been a pleasure. Now work was hard, everything was hard. It used to be too, there hadn’t been any pain or bleeding (either physically or the kind that came from harsh words and actions – there hadn’t been any harsh words or actions). Then she had gotten greedy. She had taken something that wasn’t hers to take. At the time she didn’t think it would matter. She thought she deserved it more than the owner – he had plenty after all.
But that was then and it was gone. Now they lived in this rental. Alex was gone all day scraping for a living and she was left with the boys. They were a constant challenge, but she loved them so much it hurt. “God give me strength.” she whispered. The best she could do was to teach her children not to make the same mistakes she had made but they seemed so resentful. Certainly Addison didn’t seem to get it.
She opened her eyes to see Addison stomp toward the door.
Over his shoulder he yelled to her, “I’m going back out to the llamas. And by the way, if you think I smelled bad, wait until you see Carter. He’s been fooling around with the muck from the stalls and putting it in the garden. Says he thinks it’ll grow stuff better. Says some day the owner’s gonna see how smart he is and treat him like he deserves and get him out of this dump.”
Edie didn’t think she could take much more. A tear slid down her cheek. Addison saw it and it seemed to touch him.
He stopped and shuffled his feet a little, his hand on the door. “Mom?” With his head uncharacteristically down he said, “You’re not dumb. I didn’t mean it.” His head came back up. “You just make awful good cookies .” And he was gone.
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