We all tell stories to our young ones. Whether they’re true or not; to make a point or just for entertainment, stories are important because they can be helpful. Well, I came up with a story that soon spread to all my nephews and nieces. I titled it…
The Little Boy Without a Coat
Always Put Your Toys Away
My nephew Julian had his toys all over the living room. He seldom picked them up on his own (if at all) so he was constantly being told to pick up his toys.
It’s not that there were toys out, but it was every toy he had that was out. To top it all off, he’s just sprawled out in the middle of the mess watching television (actually, the Spiderman DVD for the thousandth time).
One day, driving home from pre-school, he spots a little boy in the neighborhood running down the sidewalk. Now, it’s cold outside, damn near freezing, and my nephew notices that this little boy doesn’t have a coat on! Julian was beside himself! He couldn’t believe it! He just looked at me through the rear-view mirror pointing at this coatless little boy.
“He doesn’t have a coat on!” Julian exclaimed.
“I know. It’s cold outside,” I explained.
“Why doesn’t he have a coat on?” Julian asked sounding a bit concerned.
“Maybe his mom and dad couldn’t buy him one,” I added trying to tug at his heart-string.
Julian was quiet for a moment while he looked out the window. I was about to pull into the drive when asked me, “Do you think he has any toys?”
“I don’t know,” I said. I put the car in park and looked at him through the rear-view mirror. “Do you want to give him some of yours?”
I thought Julian would have said “yes”, since he sounded so concerned, but he shocked me by giving me a serious face and shaking his head “no”.
“No?” I asked him. “Why?”
“Because he’ll break them.”
I exited the car and got Julian out of his child seat. That’s when I came up with the story.
“That’s okay,” I said calmly, “people don’t need give the “little boy without a coat” any toys.”
Julian looked puzzled.
“Yeah, the “little boy without a coat” just goes around and takes other kids toys. Since his mom and dad won’t buy him any toys he has to take other kids toys.”
Julian slowly walked to the front door and listened to my story.
“So whenever you leave your toys out and if you’re not watching, the “little boy without a coat” comes and takes them.”
I started opening the front door and Julian looked up at me and asked, “Even in the house?”
“Even in the house.”
We entered the house and I could tell that Julian was still processing the story. He took off his coat, hat and gloves and walked into the living room. He saw the living room and how cluttered it was.
“Look at those toys the “little boy without a coat” could have taken, had he known they were here. Good thing the curtains were drawn,” I said to really get him thinking.
Actually, the curtain was drawn so the mailman couldn’t see that my living room was a wreck.
“Here… maybe if I open the curtains….” I started to say but was immediately interrupted by Julian screaming in terror.
“Noooo…. wait!” Julian yelled out.
“Well, I’m not sitting in here with the curtains drawn all day, you better pick up these toys,” I warned him.
He started to whimper and whine, but he slowly picked up his toys and put them away.
It may have taken him almost an hour, but he did it.
Now, the “little boy without a coat” has become my ‘GO-TO’ guy.
If you need to, you can borrow my “little boy without a coat” story.
I’d be honored.