It was a lazy morning for Alicia, as it was term break and all her friends were out of town. She got up from her bed, brushed her teeth, took bath and then walked down for breakfast.
For a change, she saw her mom at the table. By this time she would have usually left for office, but today she was still there in the house. Happily, Alicia went to her and asked in her sweet little voice, “You are not going to work today, mom?”
Her mom turned to look at her and smiled. “No sweetie. I have taken the day off today so that I can rest, and later in the evening do some shopping,” and then she asks Alicia, “How about you join me in the evening for shopping? Even you would get a break from sitting at home all day?”
Alicia jumped up and down in happiness, “Yes mom! I’d love that. Yay!” she sang and ran all around the house knowing that at least today she would have some fun.
Unfortunately for her, the time went extremely slow today. She finished her breakfast, played for a while. She had her lunch and even took a nap. But the time was still 4:30PM. She had half an hour more to spend before she could go out. She went down to her mom, and started walking around her.
Finally the time came. Her mom took out the car and both of them were off to the mart at once. On the way, her mom got her a packet of biscuit, and they ate it as they sang for the tunes of the local radio and drove their way to the mart.
Alicia was coming to the mart after a long time. Her parents usually asked someone to deliver everything they needed directly at their door step, so coming to this place was a whole new level of excitement for her. She jumped out of the car as soon as her mom parked it and ran to a shopping cart.
They entered the mart, and her mom took out her shopping list. She ticked off items one by one, and handed the items to little Alicia to keep them in the cart. The cart was getting filled soon, but Alicia was eager to see more and more of the mart. She ran around it and almost got lost, if not for the store manager who led her straight back to her mother.
After that, she stuck next to her mother itself. That’s when they passed the aisle of toys. Alicia’s mouth fell open at all the toys available there. She just stood there for a few minutes, just looking at them all one by one. She walked down the aisle and looked at all the toys. One of them caught her eyes. It was a small spinning top. All you had to do was throw it at the ground in such a way that it would keep spinning for a long time. The toy was bright and shiny, and Alicia wanted this to be hers. That’s why she walks up to her mom and asks her, “Mom! Can we please buy that shiny toy?” she points to it, “I really want it!”
Her mother shakes her head and replies, “No Alicia! You already have enough toys in the home and you don’t even play with half of it. Even this will go to waste in a day’s time.”
Alicia’s eyes fill up with tears at once. She begs her mom saying, “Please mom. Please!” but it doesn’t work. In sadness, she walks to that toy again so that she can wave bye to it. While there, she suddenly sees that no one is around. A small thought comes into her mind, and without thinking, she picks up the toy and puts it in her pocket without any word.
She walks to her mom, and once the billing is done, she walks out of the mart and then back to the home. Only when they reach the home does she remove the toy from her pocket and smile at it.
She is very happy that she got it, because she really wanted that toy. But she doesn’t realize that what she did was wrong. When it is almost dinner time, Alicia’s mother walks up to her room so that she can call Alicia for dinner, and that’s when she sees her playing with the toy.
Her Mother understands at once as to what has happened. She goes and sits next to little Alice and pulls her into her arms. She gives her a soft hug and then starts to speak.
“Alicia, sweetheart. I know you wanted that toy. But just because I didn’t get it for you, doesn’t mean you can pick it and come honey. See, if someone came to our house, a little kid, and she is playing with you, with your toys, and while leaving, if she takes your toys and go, would you like it?”
Alicia shakes her head.
“Exactly, because the toys belong to you. She cannot take those toys, just like that, without asking anyone, can she? In the same way, this toy you just took belongs to the owner of the shop. Now he’ll be sad that someone took away his toys, right? He’ll be sad that you didn’t ask him and yet you took it. It is not fair to make someone else sad honey. So, what do you say, we go back and give this toy back to the owner?”
Alicia nods and looks up at her mom, “Sorry mom. I won’t do it again. I didn’t know that the toys belonged to someone.”
Her mother just smiled, and in 5minutes both of them got ready and went to the mart again. Once they reached, Alicia walked up to the bill counter and gave the toy to the man standing there. With a small frown on her face she says, “I’m really sorry for taking your toy without your permission. You can have it back now. Please don’t be sad.”
The shop-keeper realizes that this was the missing toy. The honesty and sweetness of Alicia pleases him, therefore he gives the toy back into her tiny hands and says, “That’s okay sweetie. I was sad, but now that you came back just to give it to me, I am happy. I am so happy, that now, I will give you this toy as a gift.”
Alicia smiles a little and then looks at her mom. Her mother nods, telling her that it is okay to take the toy. So, Alicia takes it from the shop-keeper and runs happily back to the car.
Even though the shop-keeper refused to take the money, her mother paid him and walked back to Alicia. With a huge smile on her face, she hugged her daughter.
Moral:- Taking something which doesn’t belong to us, isn’t good. It might actually be of a lot of value to someone else. So, we should always, ask, take permission and pay the price, before taking something.
And when someone does steal, they shouldn’t be scolded at, but instead, you should make them understand with sweet words that what they did was wrong.