Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GENEROUS (10/31/19)
- TITLE: Hold Out Your Hand
By Yvonne Blake
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“Mimi, hold out your hand. I’ve got something for you.”
I never knew what it would be. This time it was a tiny pebble, a white one with silvery flecks throughout it. “Thank you. I love it!” I didn’t know what I’d do with a rock, but I put it in my pocket. Over the few years that he’d been part of my life, he was always generous. He would share his crackers with me and offer me a sip from his bottle. He never grabbed toys from other children, but often handed them the one in his hand. My heart would break when another toddler would snatch something from him. The expression on his face wasn’t anger but painful confusion, as if he couldn’t understand why someone would do that.
As Cooper grew, his gifts became an expression of how he saw the world. I never knew what his gift might be. He’d hand me a leaf or a stick or bug. I’d often have to shake out my clothes before sending them through the wash. I was glad he never handed me a snake or spider.
One day, on our way to the park, we walked past a house with character, one with bay windows and curly decorations beneath the eaves. A porch wrapped around three sides, and a trellis of roses led to a backyard garden, complete with glider swing and goldfish pond. As we stood on the sidewalk, leaning against the white picket fence, Cooper slipped his hand in mine.
“Mimi, if I had a hundred hundred dollars, I’d buy you a house like that.”
I smiled and squeezed his little fingers. “Thanks, Buddy. I’d like that.”
As he matured, he began to notice a person’s wishes and desires. He’d offer to buy them a new car, a trip to Hawaii, or a big banana split at a local ice cream shop. He knew, and we knew, that he’d probably never be able to give all that he promised, but the thought was so sweet we took it with a heart of gratefulness.
Cooper also had a knack for reusing scrap materials. He hated for anyone to throw away a cereal box or an old incomplete puzzle. He would often bring home an empty paper towel roll from school. He’d spend hours building dioramas with only paper and tape.
One summer, he spent hours building an army tank from a big cardboard box, a wrapping paper tube, and other odds and ends. Then to our surprise, he gave it to the next door neighbor, a cute girl. She politely thanked him, but looked to her mom with a questioning look that said. What will I do with this? Poor Cooper. He had a good heart.
One afternoon, his parents had to leave quickly for a doctor appointment. He didn’t have time to put his bike in the garage, as usual. When they finally arrived home that night, his bike was gone. All the wishing and dreaming in the world wouldn’t produce a new bike. Neither he nor his parents had enough money for one right then. Poor Cooper.
The word spread around the neighborhood faster than a bad cold, “Cooper’s bike was stolen.” No one could believe it happened to him, to Cooper, the most generous boy they knew. More whispers passed from friend to friend, mothers to teacher, mailman to grocer. Somehow, sometime, not just one, but three new bikes appeared at Cooper’s door.
Being Cooper, he found two other kids who needed a bike too.
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