The first time Barney gets into trouble
Barney Knox was a cute little kid, who was very curious about many things. He had always been that way, and at the age of four and a half, he had a lot to learn about. No matter what adult he was with, his imaginary friend was there. He liked all of his family, but he really loved his grandma.
She was a sweet old lady, who loved Barney with all of her heart, even though he was very difficult sometimes. There were many weekends when she took him out with her. They would go to the thrift store together, and she would buy him something, or go to get ice cream. She was the only person who had the patience to tolerate Barney and his imaginary friend.
"Come along, Barney,” she told him. We need to go before the store gets busy!”
Barney got into the car, and they left. He had always loved their outings together, and tried to be a good boy for her. It was hard for him because Lester, his imaginary friend, always influenced him to make bad decisions. Today was no exception.
¨Can we get some ice cream?¨ he asked while he buckled his seatbelt.
¨IF you are good," she told him.
"Okay, grandma!" he exclaimed as a huge smile brightened his face.
Grandma left the driveway, and they were on their way. ¨We need to stop by the mini mart, ¨ she told Barney. I need to buy a lottery ticket for your grandpa.¨
In the store, Grandma went to the register to pay for the tickets, and Barney saw, what he thought was, free writing papers. They were short, but long, and they were inside a little, rectangle, card stock box. He picked one up and put it in his shirt pocket because Lester, his imaginary friend, said that he should. Grandma took the tickets from the store clerk, and they went to the car.
¨Buckle your seatbelt again, ¨ Grandma told him.
¨Okay, ¨ replied Barney.
Grandma was about to look over her shoulder to back out of the parking spot, when she noticed the box in Barney's pocket.
¨Where did you get that?¨ Grandma asked with a shriek and surprise.
¨I found it on the counter of the last store we were in!¨ exclaimed Barney as his eyes started to well up.
He wasn't sure why Grandma shrieked, or was distraught by his little drawing papers. Lester had told him to pick up the box because it would be good to have something to scribble on. He might not have known why she had such a reaction, but he knew that it was because he grabbed the papers.
¨Those are not drawing paper! Those are for making hand rolled cigarettes and are not for children!¨ Grandma told him in a stern voice. I never want you to touch those again, and you are going to apologize to the store clerk for stealing!¨
Barney was appalled and frightened that he had stolen the papers. He thought that they were free because they were just sitting on the counter with no price, and he was only four years old.
"How can your grandmother be mad at you?¨ Lester asked with a smirk on his face.
I don´t know, ¨ whispered Barney.
When they got back to the store, Barney apologized to the clerk and saying, I did not know that it was for sale. I thought that it was free.¨
It's okay, little man. I forgive you, ¨ said the clerk, ¨ But always know that nothing is free.¨
"You are lucky that they didn't put you in jail," said Grandma.
"I know, ¨ replied Barney.
So they went back to Grandma's house without ice cream, or stuff from the thrift store.
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