Wednesday, October 28, 2015

She has to pay for that!

The girl is a sweet shoplifter, Mia is.
She had no idea the free candy she'd just taken from the table at the carnival wasn't free.
She just knew she was happy to find her favorites: a bag of Sour Patch Kids, a bag of Skittles and a roll of strawberry Mentos.
She came into the auditorium and showed me her stash.
"I got this!" she said, "and some for Hannah and some for Adell."
I looked at her, 4 years old and so proud.
I didn't understand what had just happened until a loud voice behind her announced, "She has to pay for that!"
I looked at the lady who was puffing up behind Mia from the carnival outside.
"How much? I asked as it became apparent right away that this woman would not be denied her due.
"$3!" she said with a hand on her hip.
"OK," I started digging in my purse but I hadn't come prepared for cash purchases.
I had two paper dollars and a bunch of coins.
I looked at them briefly and handed everything over.
I know I had three quarters and at least four nickels and a bunch of pennies so I figured that was close enough.
"Here, I think that covers it," I said.
The lady looked skeptical.
"All right. We'll call it good," she huffed and took off.
I looked at Mia who had no idea she'd done anything at all wrong.
After all, we were at a Halloween Carnival where almost everywhere she went she got a free cupcake, a free toy and free candy.
What was the difference?
I thought about giving her the standard lecture that comes with a child taking gum from the store but then I thought, why?
"Enjoy!" I said, "and thanks for thinking of your sisters!"

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