A young boy spends the money he had saved for a much-desired toy on a birthday present for his best friend’s grandmother. Years later, his kindness is rewarded.
Boys are selfish, right? You have only to take a stroll through a mall and walk into an electronics store to find proof in surround-sound and living color.
There is bound to be some brat in there whining and demanding mom and dad to buy him this or that expensive diversion and woebetide the poor parent who says ‘no’!
But if you think all pre-teens are like that, that’s because you’ve never met Arthur. Arthur is that rarity — a good boy doing his best to grow into a good man.
Even though Arthur is nine years old and loves video games as much as the next boy, he is not spoiled. Not at all. Part of it is because Arthur’s family is struggling. There just isn’t any money for spoiling, and that is the truth.
Not long ago, before Arthur’s dad died, there was money. But even though Arthur was indulged, he was never spoiled. He’s just a sweet-natured, kind-hearted generous boy.
Arthur’s best friend is Kyle. The two boys met when Arthur had to leave his expensive private school, which his mom could no longer afford, and go to a public school.
Life rewards kindness, compassion, and generosity.
Just like Arthur’s, Kyle’s family struggled. They lived on a farm they could no longer work because Kyle’s dad was too sick, and his grandmother was too old.
Kyle’s mom worked in the laundry and still managed to grow vegetables for the family. Arthur’s mom worked at the local bakery and brought home boxes of baked goods.
Arthur gave Kyle’s family the yummy extra baked goods, and Kyle’s mom gave him baskets of carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, and fruit from the farm’s orchard.
The two families helped each other, and their children’s friendship made their lives easier. The two boys were inseparable. If you couldn’t find Arthur, all you had to do was look for Kyle and vice-versa.
Things took a turn for the worse when Kyle’s 84-year-old grandmother had a stroke and had to go to the hospital. Kyle and his family were understandably upset, but worse of all were the hospital bills. Kyle’s dad had to take out a second mortgage on the farm, and money was tighter than ever.
One afternoon, Arthur found poor Kyle in tears. “What’s the matter, Kyle?” he asked.
His friend wiped his nose on his sleeve and sniffed. “Nothing,” he said. “Nothing at all!”
Arthur had his doubts, but he didn’t press Kyle. “Well, then,” he said. “I have news for you! My Aunt Meredith from Wisconsin sent me $50, and my mom said I could spend it on anything I wanted!”
“WOW!” gasped Kyle. “Does that mean…”
Arthur grinned. “YES!” he shouted. “That means I’m buying the Mega-Martian Gobbler Robot! The one with the guidance system and the pincer arms!”
“That is WAY sick!” cried Kyle, his tears forgotten. “When are you going to go buy it?”
“Maybe this weekend,” Arthur said. “Now, how about you tell me what’s wrong?”
Kyle shrugged and looked down at the scruffy toes of his sneakers. “It’s gran’s birthday next week. She’s turning eighty-five, and I wanted to get her a new, leather-bound album for the old family photos.
“Her old album is falling apart, because she loves paging through it, remembering and telling stories. I asked my dad, and he said it was too expensive.
“We can’t afford ANYTHING. We barely have money to pay utilities this month…”
Arthur didn’t say a word. He sat down next to his friend and poked him with his elbow. It was funny, but Kyle felt comforted. What he didn’t know was that his friend was hatching a cunning plan…
That night, Arthur asked his mom to join the conspiracy, and she readily agreed. On Kyle’s grandmother’s birthday, Arthur and his mom knocked on Kyle’s door.
Arthur was carrying a big gift-wrapped box and a bunch of flowers, and his mom had a HUGE beautiful birthday cake! When Kyle and his family saw them, they couldn’t believe their eyes!
“Kyle,” Arthur said. “Quick, help me blow up the balloons!” When the grandmother hobbled out of her room, she was amazed! There were bright balloons everywhere, a huge bouquet of wildflowers, a big, delicious-looking cake, and a present!
“What’s this? What’s this?” she cried.
Arthur said, “Kyle organized everything! He wants you to have the best birthday ever.” He nudged Kyle. “He even got you a present.”
The grandmother opened the present with her knobbly, trembling fingers. Kyle was stunned! It was a beautiful, leather-bound photo album with the grandmother’s name engraved on the cover in gold leaf.
Kyle knew then that Arthur had spent every cent of the money his aunt had sent on his grandmother’s gift. The grandmother started crying. “Thank you, Kyle, how did you know this is what I wanted most?”
Kyle started crying too and hugged his grandmother. Later he asked Arthur, “Why did you do this? You really wanted that robot!”
“I did,” Arthur said. “But we have plenty of time, we can have robots next year, or the year after. Your grandmother might not be here next year. We should spoil her while we can…”
Now, Kyle’s granny was a wise woman. She guessed what happened, and how Arthur’s kindness had given her a special birthday gift, so she remembered him in her will.
She left her farm to Kyle and to Arthur, 500 hectares that had been in her family for centuries, and she knew that her legacy would be cherished and grow in their hands.
What can we learn from this story?
Cherish your loved ones while you still have them. Arthur wanted to show Kyle’s granny love because he knew that her life wouldn’t be long because she was so old.
A kind and generous heart will open a thousand doors and bring great rewards. Life rewards kindness, compassion, and generosity.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.