Friday, October 05, 2007

A prize for being honest

Last July when we were moving, we didn't shop for souvenirs or gifts much. On our second-to-last travel day, we stopped in a little country store in a tiny town in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania. We bought a few little things -souvenirs for the kids, a few little gift items. The two ladies running the shop carefully packed our purchases for us, wrapping each in bubble wrap and tissue paper.

The kids got their things out right away but it took many, many days for me to open the bags and go through the stuff. I hadn't remembered buying so much! I found the things I was expecting, then unwrapped 3 or 4 more little bundles, each containing a little raccoon figurine that we hadn't bought.

Then I remembered how cluttered the counter had been, and how one lady had been ringing us up while the other asked which things went in our bag. She'd put in some extras.

The little figurines weren't all that cute, to my taste. E loved them, of course. But there was the problem of payment. I knew I hadn't been charged for them. I didn't want to call up the shop and figure out how to pay for them - I didn't want 'em! So what to do? Frankly, I wanted to put them in the donation bag, get them out of the house and forget about them. But of course I couldn't do that...

It took almost 2 months before I found a box the right size. I wrote a note, packed the figurines up, sealed up the box. Then it sat by the door for a while till I remembered to take it to the post office. Finally I was able to forget about those little raccoons.

Till today, when a small box from that store arrived in our mail. Inside was a card, thanking us for our honesty in dealing with their shop. The box was full of hard candy. Old-fashioned penny candy - mints, a candy necklace, and the dots-on-paper candy.

Of course my kids were thrilled. E marveled, "Wow, we got a prize just for being honest."

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