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Anyone's Child

Anyone’s child did not like grapes.
It had been a very good day.
The teacher passed out grape suckers to all her students.
Anyone’s child quietly handed his sucker to another child.
The little boy with two suckers smiled.
Anyone’s child smiled.
He knew the joy in sharing.

When school ended, happy children with suckers ran to their parents.
Parents smiled.
A little boy named Chip showed his mom his treat and beamed with pride.
It had been a good day.
Chip’s mom noticed that one child had two suckers.
The day was no longer good.
She tossed Chip on her shoulder and steamed out the door.

She brewed.
She steamed.
She plotted how to right this wrong.
Chip just wanted to enjoy his sucker.
But how was this possible when someone’s child got two.
Words flew like bullets.
Aimed at hurting those who had been unfair.

Chip’s mom called her friends
She called the Bureau of Fair Candy Disbursement
They sent out more words
And more words
All filled with anger over this candy injustice
Teams were formed
Committees gathered
Helicopters came
Dogs circled in patterns searching for candy leads
Someone yelled, “Ban all suckers”

Anyone’s child was unaware of any unfairness
It was his choice not to like grape
He knew the right thing to do when he gave his treat away
Someone’s child enjoyed his sucker and gave his extra one to his sister
They both smiled with grape colored smiles
The act of sharing still filled children with joy.

Chip’s mom cringed when she saw the color purple
It was a painful reminder that her child had been given less
Chip wanted his mom to smile
He handed her the sucker the teacher had given him
She needed a good day

Chip’s mom snatched the sucker and showed the teams
They cried, “Woe!”
They cried, “How?”
They gathered all their words and wrote a letter
The letter was filled with bitterness and one grape sucker

A sign was posted on the school door
"No treats allowed"
No one at the school knew why
No one ever stopped to ask the teacher why one child had more
They never asked the simple question
That would have come with a reasonable answer
Instead, the mom with Chip on her shoulder
Assumed the worst and let hateful words guide her

A good deed was twisted and turned until it was no longer good
Good days would no longer come with treats
When there was a chance someone might share and anyone’s child might get more.
Sharing was frowned on and the children did not know why
They cried, “Woe!”
They cried,  “How?”
Their joy in giving was riddled with doubt
Anyone’s child did not want to get in trouble for sharing
Someone’s child learned that a good deed may not be so good

The teacher sighed
She cried, “Woe!”
She cried, “How?”

She wrote her own letter
It said…
Dear children and parents
There is a basket of grape and cherry suckers on my desk
Take what you want, but no more than you need
To make your day good.

And with that simple act, filled with kind words, fairness was restored.

                                    By M. Brodnax, 2016


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