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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stealing a Daffodil--A Life Lesson Learned In Childhood


When I was a small girl, perhaps five or six years old, I stole a yellow, silk daffodil from our local Wal-Mart. Our family was poor and so I didn’t very often get new toys or clothes unless they were hand-me-downs. This particular day, the small flower had caught my attention and I really wanted to take it home to admire how pretty it was. I knew what my mother’s response would be if I asked her if I could have it. So, instead of asking, I snatched the pretty flower and tucked it away inside of one of my pant’s pockets until we got home.

I didn’t tell anyone about the flower—not my brothers or sister. I knew I would get into big trouble if anyone found out that I had taken the flower. I knew what I had done was wrong, but, in my immaturity, I still hadn’t connected it with the crime of stealing. When no one was in my bedroom, I hid under my bed and took the flower out of my pocket. I probably lay under the bed in the dark for fifteen minutes admiring the silk daffodil before anyone began to search for me.

When someone did find me, boy was I in sore trouble! It was one of my siblings that told on me. I didn’t want to lie, but I didn’t want to tell the truth either. In our home, bad was bad no matter how the story was told and bad meant spankings and scolding for punishment. I ended telling the truth and my mother ended up taking me back to the Wal-Mart, flower in tow, to return the darned thing.

Once inside the ominous Wal-Mart, my mother marched my butt up to customer service where she insisted that she speak with a manager. When the manager came over, my mother demanded that I tell the manager what I had done. With tears streaming down my face and my voice quivering from weeping for so long, I told the manager that I had taken the silk flower without paying for it and that I was sorry. I was embarrassed and ashamed.

Most would think that the act as trivial as taking a ten cent flower would not warrant the consequential feelings of pain and embarrassment of returning the stolen item felt by a small child. However, I learned a valuable lesson that remained with me the rest of my life. I never stole anything again, because I always remembered my mother taking me back to that Lewisville, Texas Wal-Mart one sunny, summer afternoon when I was just a little girl.

4 Comments:

Shanna said...

Allie, that is such a sad little story. So, when you go to the walmart do you think of it everytime? You should make yourself a whole vase full of daffodils for your house..LOL awww memories

Allie said...

Yes, I do think about it everytime I go to that paticular Wal-Mart, which is seldom even though I live in the same town (it is ghetto).

Tell you what though, I never stole anything again!

Anonymous said...

too bad more parents don't teach their kids lessons like this! perhaps then our world would not be filled with so many criminals than thugs!

Allie said...

Amen!

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