I Want That
Tara was smart enough, but she had one bad habit. She would point to toys and say, "I want that." This happened at toy stores, grocery stores and friends' homes. "I want that."
This drove her older brother crazy. "She wants everything!" shouted Eric. "Why? Where will she put it all?"
Tara drove her best friend crazy too. Samira was happy to let Tara play with her toys. But before long, Tara would say, "I want that." And if Samira came to play at Tara's house, Tara would say, "That's mine. Don't touch it."
Samira and Eric were worried. "I don't think Tara is going to have any friends if she keeps this up," said Eric.
"I know," agreed Samira. "I want to be her friend, but it's hard. She wants everything and shares nothing!"
Then, Eric and Samira had an idea.
They hid all of Tara's toys, stuffed animals and games in the closet. When Tara came home and saw her room empty, she screamed, "Where's all my stuff?"
"Stuff? Oh, that. Well, you had so much and still wanted more, so we gave your stuff to kids who really need it."
Tara didn't know what to say.
"That was my stuff! How could you give it away?" she cried.
"How could you not play with it and still want more?" asked Eric.
"Some kids are lucky to have just one teddy bear. You had 13!" added Samira.
Eric opened the closet and showed Tara that all her things were there. "We would never really give your stuff away," he said. "But you have more than enough, and we wanted to let you know it."
Tara thought about it. "You guys are right. I do have enough. Help me sort out my favorites and I'll give the rest to kids who don't have toys."
Eric smiled at Samira.
"I guess I thought people would like me better if I had the most toys," said Tara.
"Everyone will like you," said Samira, "if you are kind and caring and giving."
"Hmm," said Tara. "I want that."
Patricia Rust is author of "The King of Skittledeedoo," a children's picture book that promotes literacy. She also heads the Rust Foundation for Literacy. You can visit her at http:// www.powerforkids.com.
This story will be on The Times' Web site at http:// www.latimes.com/kids.
© 2012 Patricia Rust all rights apply