Ollie the Orange’s favorite thing to do was to play outside and dig in the soil. He loved doing it so much, he did it early in the morning and late into the evenings. There was something special about the soil. It had a magical essence about it, and characteristics that filled every boy and girl in Frutopia with glee.
“Ollie, come in for supper!” his mother called one evening.
“But, Mom!” Ollie pleaded, digging his stems deeper into the earth.
“Now, now, come in for supper and make yourself presentable. All good orange children are obedient to their mothers,” Ollie’s shoulders slumped, and his face pouted as he patted the earth one last time.
“Yes, mom,” Ollie said as he went inside and made himself ready for supper. All his eleven brothers and sisters bustled about their large, white washed home preparing for the meal. Once they were all finally seated at the dinner table, the father asked everyone to share one thing that they were thankful for that day. Each of his brothers and sisters went on to share a moment from their day, and Ollie listened quietly waiting for his turn.
Once Ollie’s little sister Steff shared, the family oohed. Steff reached underneath her chair and pulled out a brand new, polished hand shovel. “Tiana’s father is a smith, and she said that we are such great friends, she decided to give me one of the shovels he made!”
“Oh my, that was so nice of her! What a great looking shovel,” Father said.
“You are very blessed,” Mother added with a smile.
Ollie’s eyes widened as he looked at Steff’s new shovel. I want it, Ollie thought to himself. He gazed at it so intently that he did not even realize it was his turn.
“Ollie?” Mother asked.
Ollie’s mind could think of nothing other than the new shovel. He could not even think of one thing from the day for which he was grateful. “I’m grateful for the family,” He fibbed, unable to think of anything else.
“Very nice,” Father smiled. “Carry on.”
His siblings finished out their turns, yet Ollie heard none of it. He kept thinking about how beautiful Steff’s shovel was and how much fun it would be to play with in the yard. Ollie watched Steff place the shovel back under her chair as the meal was served. Once the food was going about the table, he excused himself to go to the bathroom. While the family was busy enjoying the food, Ollie snuck under the table and snagged Steff’s shovelf! His heart raced as he held it in his hands. His mind soared as he touched the cold iron. It’s mine! he smiled, his eyes filled with greed.
Ollie snuck out from under the table and rushed outside to the hole he had dug earlier that day. He threw his new found treasure into the dirt and buried it. “She’ll never find it now!” he laughed.
Once it was buried, he went back to the table and finished out the rest of the meal in silence, dreaming of the holes he would dig and the fun he would have. Once the meal was over, Steff reached under the chair to grab her prized possession, but instead, only grabbed the air. “My shovel isn’t here,” Steff gasped. “My special shovel is gone,” she started to cry.
“Dearie, it’s okay. We can find it,” Father said patting her on the back. “Come now children, does anyone know where the shovel went?”
All the children, except Ollie, answered in unison. “No.”
Father saw Ollie’s silence and asked directly. “Ollie, do you know where Steff’s shovel is?”
Ollie’s mouth went dry and his limbs went limp. He felt his heart sink into his stomach. “No.” He squeaked, failing to swallow.
“Alright then, children,” Father said with an affirming nod. “Let’s search the house.” They began to search the house, scouring it back and forth to no avail. Steff was in tears as mother comforted her. “There, there now. It’s okay,” she said to her daughter.
Ollie’s heart was crushed. He could no longer watch his sister in tears. The boy made his way to Father and finally confessed.
“I did it! I stole Steff’s new shovel and buried it in the yard.”
Father looked at Ollie with disappointment in his face. “You stole her shovel? Why would you do that?”
“I wanted it for myself.” Ollie said bursting into tears. “I took it because I wanted to play with it.”
“Ollie, I’m surprised at you. Why would you feel that you need to steal your sister’s shovel? I’m sure she would share it if you asked nicely. Beyond that though, I’m surprised you lied to me.”
Ollie sobbed. “I know, Father. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.”
“You will need to apologize to your sister and tell her the truth. And Ollie, let this be a lesson to you. If you try to live your life in deceit, you’re the only person that you will cheat.”