Adventures of Average Boy: Goody New Shoes

by Sammie, 12, from Oregon

All the kids at my school have MP3 players or iPods. I felt left out, but I didn’t want to waste my money. I thought that if it looked like I had headphones, I’d be cool, too.

I taped water-bottle caps at the end of two pieces of yarn, then tied the two strings together and tucked the loose ends into my pocket.

The next day, I took my iBob onto the bus. I pulled out the “headphones” and tried to put them in my ears. They didn’t fit, so I decided to hold them against my ears and hum loudly. I closed my eyes to really sell it, and immediately ran into Bryce.

“Yikes!” I said and jumped back. The bottle caps fell to the floor, still dangling from my pants.

That night, Mom read me Leviticus 19:11— “You must not steal. You must not act deceptively or lie to one another.”

It was wrong to lie to the kids on my bus, just so I could fit in. I decided to pay for a real music player. I emptied my piggy bank and had just enough. Dad was going to the department store, so I gave him the money and asked for “the iPod with the blues.” (I meant the blue headphones, but I guess Dad’s not used to shopping for accessories.)

When I got home, I saw my iPod on the table . . . along with white headphones and 11 pairs of shoes. It turns out, the store was having a big sale: buy any music player and get 11 pairs of free shoes. What kind of deal is that?!?

I didn’t know what to do with all of those shoes. Dad suggested I give them to kids in need. I loved that idea so much, I decided to see how many shoes I could collect.

Saturday morning, I set up a big sign outside my house that said SHOES PLEASE. The first three hours slugged by; it felt like math class.

That’s when Bryce showed up. For such a big guy, he’s surprisingly stealthy. “Aah! I mean, hello!” I screamed. “S-sorry about running into you. C-can’t we be fffriends?”

Bryce stared at me, then bent down and took off his sneakers. “Come on, squirt. Let’s go get some shoes.”

Twenty minutes later, people were lined up all the way down the street carrying shoes. (Evidently, Bryce has connections.) By the end of the day, we had collected 356 pairs of shoes. Can you believe it? We’re planning to ship them to an orphanage in Russia.

I was so inspired, I returned my iPod and used the money to buy 17 extra pairs of shoes. The clerk even said I could keep the shoes that came with the iPod. God sure works in mysterious ways. He used a humiliating moment on the bus to help kids in an orphanage. And who knows? I might have made a new barefoot friend.

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