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Rated: E · Short Story · Children's · #2318572
A children’s story, under 1000 words
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Six-year-old Penny went outside one bright spring morning after breakfast to play in the front yard. Cardinals and bluebirds sang sweetly in the maple trees. She crouched down to smell the heady perfume of the lavender hyacinths lining the path and watched as a ladybug slowly climbed up a stem.

As she stood up again she saw her younger brother Andy playing catch with his baseball mitt on the lawn.

"Wanna play?" He called. "I need someone to throw the ball."

They played for a while, tossing it back and forth, until Andy missed it. The ball went tumbling through the grass, rolling to a stop somewhere in the middle of the lawn. Penny and Andy both ran towards it. Andy bent over to pick it up.

"Hey, look, there's something in the dirt."

Penny bent down to see for herself.

"It looks like a coin."

Andy reached out and picked it up, brushing off the dirt from its surface.

"Whoa, what kind of coin is it, Pen?"

His mouth remained open for some moments as he stared. It was about the size of a dime, with an exaggerated, cartoon-like owl on one face. The owl's eyes bulged enormously, staring back at them as if it was as surprised as the siblings were.

"What should we do with it?" Penny asked.

"I'm gonna keep it!" Andy exclaimed, jumping upright and stuffing it into his pocket. "It's a lucky charm. That means I'll get ice cream for dessert tonight!"

"And what about me? Can't I share the good luck?"

"I found it and I'm younger, so I get to keep it."

"Not fair," Penny huffed. "I'm older, and I'm the one with a coin name, so I should keep it!"

"It's not really Penny, it's Penelope. And anyway, you know if Mom serves ice cream we'll both get some."

Satisfied with this promise, Penny continued tossing the baseball with Andy, until their Mom called them in for a snack.

While they were eating oatmeal cookies and milk at the kitchen table, a knock sounded at the front door.

"Oh good morning, Peter," Mom said to the boy, about nine years old. "What brings you here?"

"I'm sorry to bother you, Mrs Green, but I've lost something very important. I have a school project coming up tomorrow, and I can't find the rare ancient Greek coin I need for my display."

"What makes you think we might know where it is?"

"Well, I had it in my pants pocket yesterday, and this morning I realized there was a hole in my pocket and the coin must've fallen out somewhere. I've been retracing my steps through the neighborhood looking for it. I remember taking a shortcut through your yard late in the afternoon."

"Perhaps you should describe it for us," Mom said.

"Well, on one side there's this big funny owl with weird popping eyes, and the Greek letters AOE. And on the other side…"

Andy and Penny were listening to the conversation from the kitchen. They exchanged glances.

"Dear me," Penny said. "Andy, I think you have Peter's coin."

"Aw shucks… I really wanted it, too. If I keep it he'll never know."

Andy drowned a cookie in his milk with a furrowed brow.

"That's not nice," Penny observed. "Peter needs it for school."

"Can't he just get another one somewhere?"

"He said it's rare. Have you ever seen one of those?"

"No…" Andy admitted slowly. "But… I really did…"

As they waited, they heard Mom say to Peter,

"Feel free to look for it in the lawn, if you think it might be there."

"Aw, he'll be looking all day," Penny said.

Andy sighed, pulled the coin out of his pocket and stared longingly at it. Then he jumped out of his chair.

"Wait, Peter! Hold on!"

He ran outside and almost bumped into Peter as the older boy was beginning his search in the grass.

"I found your coin this morning! Look!" Andy held it out in his hand.

"Wow, that's it!" A jubilant grin lit up Peter's face. "You saved my school project, Andy! Thank you so much. Is there anything I can do to thank you properly?"

"Uh, well, I'd really like to have a coin like that for my very own…" Andy hung his head bashfully. "I was so excited when I found it."

"Oh, that's not so difficult," Peter replied with a chuckle. "My Dad owns a coin shop, and that's how I got this genuine Greek Drachma. It's extremely valuable, he only let me have it for my project, and he would be upset if I lost it or gave it away. But when I was doing my research I found super cheap replicas online. I'd gladly order you one!"

"Oh gosh, yes! Thank you!" Andy whooped and clapped his hands in delight. Then, after a moment of consideration, “could you please give one to my sister Penny? She really wanted one too.”

“Sure, they come in batches.” Peter patted him on the shoulder.

"Now doesn't that make you feel better than if you'd kept it for yourself?" Penny asked when Andy got back inside.

"Yeah, of course. But you know what, I'm just glad my ball landed near it in the grass!”

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