Billy and his mom went to the store and mom went up and down the aisles shopping. Billy wandered around and then he saw the chocolate counter.
Billy loved chocolate! He looked at all the different kinds and he couldn’t make up his mind—should he have Reese’s peanut butter cups or a Pep? So Billy went in search for his mom.
“Mom, can I get a chocolate bar?” Billy asked.
“We can not afford it,” said Billy’s mom.
Billy went back to the chocolate counter and stood there and stared. He looked around, and not seeing anyone, he randomly grabbed a chocolate bar and stuffed it in his pocket!
Suddenly a HUGE hand grabbed him. It was Mr. Schmitt, who owned the store! Right away, he marched young Billy through the store and approached Billy’s mother.
“This young boy has been caught trying to steal a chocolate bar from MY store, ” he said. “I demand some recompense, or I will call the police!”
“What do you want from him?” Billy’s mother replied.
“I wish that he would work off the pain of his theft,” said Mr. Schmitt. “He shall work for me, for free, until I figger out how much time he must work.”
“So it shall be,” said Billy’s mother.
Billy went to the store everyday after school. He stocked shelves, swept, and polished the windows. He put all the cans with their labels forward, he swept into the corners, and his windows were sparkly clean.
Billy earned the respect of Mr. Schmitt.
One day after sweeping out the store, Mr. Schmitt presented Billy with a chocolate bar and told him he was a good boy and to not be troubled by the past; what was done was done and he was free to go.
“No, I like it here,” said Billy. “Can I still come? I don’t steal!”
“Yes, you may come back but now I have to pay you,” said Mr. Schmitt.
So Billy kept his job at the store and since then he never stole anything and he never would. Billy was proud of his work, as was Mr. Schmitt. Actually, Mr. Schmitt began to pay Billy $50 a week! That was a lot of money! Billy would bring half of it back to his mom every week, he didn’t want to hear her say that they couldn’t afford a chocolate bar again.
After a few years went by and Billy graduated from high school, Mr. Schmitt offered Billy a full-time job as a grocery store manager!
Billy loved his new job. He got to order stuff for the store, he got to know all the regular customers by their names, and he got to continue polishing the windows.
Then one day a young, rather dirty, girl came into the store. She walked up and down the aisles like she was ‘window shopping’, then she stuck out her hand towards the chocolate counter. Billy quickly came up behind her and said, “Are you hungry?” She swiftly pulled back her hand.
“Now I know you are lying,” said Billy. “Here have a chocolate bar on the house, just remember this: THOU SHALL NOT STEAL. If you are in need of something be polite and just ask for what you need. I was caught in this very same store stealing a chocolate bar. Mr. Schmitt made me come into work for him every day after school until he figgered out I had worked enough. But I begged him to let me stay. Look at me now…I’m the manager! But I still could use some help. Would you like to work in my store?”
“Oh yes,” said the girl.
So this little waif stopped stealing and began a new life of pride and CHOCOLATE BARS!
Lisa McKenna has been living in the Yukon for 17 years. She’s been writing since she was a kid, and that’s why she likes writing for kids!