256 Words

Nothing Good Ever Came

M. Stanley Bubien

"Can't find a trash can to throw one measly little apple into," I grumbled at the piece of discarded fruit. Brushing my skirt aside, I knelt beside my daughter, Terry, and said, "Nothing good ever came of litter, honey." I knew she didn't completely understand, but I was frustrated. "You won't be a litterbug," I pointed. "You'll always throw your apples away. Won't you?"

She answered by grabbing my outstretched finger and pulling me into a surprisingly brisk walk---especially for a sixteen month old.

This stroll was our morning routine, our "female bonding" as my husband liked to call it. And we followed the same route every day---which is probably why I shouldn't have been surprised.

"I can't believe that apple's still there!" I cried the next morning.

I would've picked it up, but I didn't want to get my hands dirty---especially with Terry tugging on them whenever I started to lag behind; she couldn't talk, but she sure knew how to communicate!

It remained there for two days, and each time we passed, I wondered how I could've forgotten a trash bag. I did, however, point and tell Terry to always throw her apples out.

Finally, on the third day, someone had picked it up.

Rounding the bend, Terry reached up and took my hand. She pulled enthusiastically, and just as she was nearly at a run, she halted abruptly. Letting go, Terry crouched before the very spot where the piece of litter had lain. Pointing with four fingers, she cried, "Ah-pull!"

Copyright ©2000 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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March, 2000
Issue #47

256 Words