A store clerk kicks out a boy in rags from his store. Later, he regrets his decision when he follows him and hears him telling the story about why he wanted to buy a doll.
Little Jake walked into a toy store and chose a doll from the front row. He was only five years old and had no idea where to look for the price, so he stared at the doll for a long time, repeatedly turning it in his hands. When he couldn’t figure it out, he approached Connery Franklin, the store clerk, and inquired about the price.
“Hello, sir,” Jake said with a big smile on his face. “Can you please tell me the price of this doll?”
“It’s $25, boy!” Connery responded in his big voice, casting a stern look at Jake’s ragged clothes, which were drawing unwanted attention. “Do you have the cash on you?”
“Of course!” Jake spoke confidently as he took a few coins and a dollar bill from his pocket. “Here! See, I have so much money!”
Connery laughed. “Are you kidding me, boy? That’s not even $2! You can maybe try buying a doll from the street stalls with that money. Now move, I don’t have the whole day.”
“No, wait! Do you have any other dolls I could buy with the money I have?” Jake asked curiously. “You see, I’ve been saving all of this money for a long time, and if I buy a doll, EVERYTHING will be fine.”
“Look, kid, don’t waste my time,” Connery stated emphatically. “That’s our cheapest doll, and if you don’t have the money, just leave. You’re frightening our customers!”
“But, please, I need to purchase the doll. It’s—” Before little Jake could complete his sentence, Connery lashed out at him. “How many times do I have to tell you that you cannot afford it? Now, get moving!”
When Jake didn’t move and just stood there, holding the doll in his hands, Connery snatched his hand and yanked him out of the store. The little boy, teary-eyed, pleaded again, but Connery slammed the door in his face.
But as Connery rearranged the dolls on the shelf, it hit him. Wait, why would a little boy buy a doll? And what exactly did he mean when he said everything would be fine if he bought it?
He dashed outside to find out why the boy was so eager to get the doll then he saw him conversing with a cop. He hid behind a wall and listened as the boy cried, telling the cop about his sick mother.
“What’s your name, young man, and why are you crying?” the cop, Officer Beckett, asked Jake.
“My name is Jake,” the boy said between sobs. “I came here to buy a doll for my sister. But I didn’t have enough money for it.”
Officer Beckett wiped the boy’s tears and gently said, “You’re a lovely brother Jake, and good kids like you shouldn’t cry. It’s fine if you couldn’t afford to buy the doll for your sister. She’ll appreciate you for being a caring brother if you tell her you tried to get one for her.”
“No, she won’t!” Jake said firmly.
“Why not?” Officer Beckett inquired.
“Because she’s in heaven now. She went to heaven two years ago. She loved dolls so I wanted to buy her one and send it to her. My mom is in the hospital, and the doctors said she’s going to heaven soon. I was going to tell her to take the doll with her so that my sister can play with it.”
Officer Beckett looked away from Jake as tears stung his eyes. Meanwhile, Connery, who also heard everything, burst into tears and rushed into the store. A few minutes later, he dashed out to Jake, clutching the doll.
“Thank God you’re still here! I’m sorry, boy! I was arranging the dolls on the shelf when I realized I gave you the wrong price. The doll is on sale today, and we’re giving it away for $1.”
Jake sprung in delight. “Are you serious? Can I buy the doll then?”
“Yes, you can! Come with me.” Connery held Jake’s tiny hand in his and went to the cashier. “Please pack this doll nicely for our little customer. It’s a special gift for someone.” The cashier looked at the doll’s price and then at the sticky pile of coins and one-dollar bill in Jake’s hand. “Are you sure he’ll be able to afford the doll?” she asked Connery.
“Of course, he can. Our little man has got a lot of money! Don’t you, Jake?” Connery asked the boy, silently slipping the $24 from his pocket and handing it to the cashier. Jake smiled at him and handed over the money he had.
The cashier quickly packed the doll and smiled at Jake. “Have a nice day, young man! And come back for more!”
Jake thanked Connery and the cashier and happily walked out of the store, holding the doll in his hands. Officer Beckett approached him and asked if he could walk him home, but Jake said he lived around the corner and would go on his own. As Jake walked away, Connery wept softly, wondering why life had to be so cruel to such a young boy.
What can we learn from this story?
People should not be judged based on their appearance. Because Jake was dressed in rags and was poor, Connery looked down on him and threw him out of the store.
Learn to be kind, even to strangers. The simple act of kindness both Officer Beckett and Connery showed Jake brought him so much joy and that is priceless.