From Chicken Soup for the Child's Soul

Mike’s Trucks

The more you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions, the more credibility you will have.

Brian Koslow

“Hey, Sammy, see if you can come over to my house and play sometime,” urged Mike.

“Okay, maybe I can come over Sunday,” suggested Sammy.

“That would be great.” Mike smiled. “I hope to see you then.”

When he arrived home from school, Sammy asked his mother, “Mom, can I go over to my new friend Mike’s house this Sunday?”

“Well, Sammy, I seem to remember that you promised Steve you would play with him on Sunday,” Sammy’s mother reminded him.

“Oops, I sort of forgot,” Sammy thought out loud. “Maybe Steve would want to come along, too.”

In spite of Sammy’s forgetfulness, it all worked out. Steve and Sammy both went to play with Mike on Sunday morning. It was Steve’s idea that they play trucks. He had a toy dump truck for hauling dirt, and Sammy had a toy cement mixer.

When they arrived at Mike’s house, Mike took both the boys out to his backyard and showed them his construction pit and all of his trucks. Mike’s father had dug a small hole in the ground in their backyard and filled it with sand for Mike’s work zone. In this huge sandbox, Mike not only had a cement mixer and a dump truck, but he also had a front-end loader, a crane, a bulldozer, a ditch digger, a road grader, and several other cool toys.

“Wow!” said Steve, his eyes opened wide. “Look at all that!”

Soon, the three boys were having fun building roads and digging holes with Mike’s equipment. They used water from the garden hose and made a small lake in the bottom of the sand pit. But all too soon, it was time for dinner, and Sammy and Steve had to go home.

“Boy, those are really cool toys! I wish they were mine,” Steve told Sammy as they left Mike’s house.

Sammy didn’t think much about what Steve said until a couple days later at school.

“You’ll never guess what happened at my house,” Mike said.

“What?” asked Sammy.

“Thieves broke into our backyard and stole my bulldozer and my ditch digger.”

On his way home from school, Sammy got to thinking about what Steve had said: “Boy, those are really cool toys! I wish they were mine.”

Surely Steve wouldn’t have taken them, thought Sammy. But, just in case, he thought he should have a look for himself.

“Mom, can I go up to Steve’s house to play?” asked Sammy.

“Sure, but don’t be gone too long,” said his mother. “You still have to do your homework.”

“Okay, Mom, I’ll be back in time,” he assured her.

Sammy walked up to Steve’s house. As he was about to knock on the door, he thought he heard Steve playing out in his sandbox. Sammy went around to the side of the house and peeked around the corner. Sure enough, there was Steve. And there was Mike’s bulldozer and his ditch digger, too!

“Hi, Steve. I thought I’d come over and play trucks with you,” Sammy announced.

“Oh!” Steve seemed startled. “I didn’t hear you coming.”

Steve could tell by the look on Sammy’s face that he knew.

“Why did you take Mike’s toys?” Sammy asked.

Steve just hung his head.

“Steve, it’s wrong to steal,” he said. “Mike will share his toys with us any time we go to his house.”

“But what can I do now? I can’t just take them back,” said Steve.

“Well, that’s what you need to do,” Sammy assured him. “Come on, I’ll go with you.”

After asking both their moms’ permission, the two made their way to Mike’s house with the trucks.

“You found my trucks! Where were they?” shouted Mike when he opened the front door.

“I took them,” Steve confessed.

“You mean you were the burglar?” Mike asked. He seemed really shocked.

“Yeah, it was me,” admitted Steve.

“Why?” asked Mike.

“I don’t know. All I know is that I’m sorry,” Steve said.

After a few seconds, Mike said, “It’s okay, Steve. I forgive you.”

Steve reached out to Mike, and the two shook hands. With a smile breaking on their faces, the three of them ran back to Mike’s backyard and played until it was time to go home.

Ronnie Reese

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