From Chicken Soup for the Child's Soul

Who’s to Blame?

It was a very exciting day for my sister and me. As soon as our dad got home, he was going to give us a special gift. We had our eyes peeled open on that beautiful sunny day as we looked out the front door, waiting to see my dad come through it, bearing gifts. It wasn’t our birthday or anything; our dad had just felt like getting us something special.

The car pulled up, and Dad got out carrying a large bag. He walked up to the door and handed us the bag before he even got inside. Mindy and I looked into the bag together and pulled out the most beautiful red purses we’d ever seen, one for Mindy and one for me.

“I love it!” I said, as I gave my dad a big kiss. Mindy did the same. Mindy always copied me.

We had our new purses, but they were empty. Mindy wanted to put something in them—something exciting. So we looked around the house to see what we could find. We couldn’t find much until we walked into our mom and dad’s bedroom. I looked inside one of Dad’s dresser drawers and found what looked like a ton of money.

“Mindy, look what I found!”

She came running, “What, what is it?”

I pointed inside the drawer. “Look . . . it’s money. We can stick all this money inside our new red purses.”

Mindy looked confused. “That’s mom and dad’s money. We can’t take that.”

I started to put the money into my purse, and Mindy copied me. Our purses were as stuffed as could be. We ran out of our parents’ room and headed for ours.

“Let’s hide our purses in our dresser drawer,” I said. As soon as we did this, I heard a loud yell—and we never heard yelling in our house.

“Honey, our money is missing,” my mother shouted. My dad was frantic, and I could hear him pacing downstairs. “I know I put the money in our drawer. Where could it be?”

I heard footsteps coming up the stairs toward our room. Soon, both our parents were standing in front of us.

“Did you happen to find some money?” my father asked.

Mindy looked at me with fear in her eyes. “No,” I said.

Dad and Mom stood there waiting for another answer. Mindy and I both became nervous.

“Where are your new red purses?” my mother asked. “Can I see them?”

I walked over to our dresser and started to pull them out. Mindy began to cry. “It was Michelle’s idea. It’s all her fault. She made me do it.”

I handed Mom the purses. She looked inside, and there was all of the money.

“It was Mindy’s fault. She wanted to find something extra special to stick into her purse.”

My parents sat us down and talked about the importance of taking responsibility. “It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. You have to live up to your own actions,” Mom said. “Now, it doesn’t matter whose bright idea this was. You both are responsible for doing something that you shouldn’t have. You are both lucky that we found the money,” my father added.

Mindy and I apologized to them and to each other, and gave our parents a tight hug. We realized they were right, and that we should never blame each other for our own choices.

“What can we stick in our purses?” Mindy asked. Suddenly, she ran for the Monopoly money. I wasn’t going to stick that in my purse. I put some stickers, lip gloss, and candy in mine.

And, yes, Mindy copied me.

Michelle Rossi

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