The Three-Legged Cow

 
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So this little girl had this toy cow at the playground. And there was this little boy there who really wanted it.

The cow only had three legs and he’d never seen anything like it. And he couldn’t stop staring at it.

And then the little girl left it on the pirate ship by the steering wheel and the little boy found it. He told himself it was a finder’s keeper and tried to forget that he knew full well whose it was. And he put it in his pocket and went on the tire swing and felt great. Really great. Until he heard someone crying. It was the girl.

She was crying to her mama and he really hoped it was ‘cause she fell and skinned her knee. But it wasn’t. She was crying because she lost her favorite toy.

And the little boy wished he hadn’t heard what she was saying. But he did hear.  That this three-legged cow had belonged to her great grandfather. And that he’d played with it when he was her age. And then his son played with it. And his son. And so on and so on. Basically, he’d found out that this toy had survived like a hundred years without any damage other than its missing leg.

And he tried again to convince himself that it was no big deal but this cow was burning up in his pocket. And then his mama said, “Honey your face is bright red, are you ok?” And the boy started crying and told the whole story. “Well you know what you have to do,” she said. He begged his mama to do his dirty work, but they both knew it was his job. So he sighed and his mama gave him a kiss on his head and he walked over to the little girl. And when he handed her the cow, she gave him the biggest hug. And that’s when he decided he didn’t need to tell her the whole story. He knew what happened. And that’s what counts.

And he never took anything that wasn’t his ever again. Well, except when it was a real finder’s keeper.

The end.

 
Jessica Kane