Inspirational Stories for Kids - Red Marbles
These are not our usual jokes, just a collection of beautiful inspirational stories that help to put into perspective what should be important in our short lives!
Mr Miller's Grocery Store in Idaho - Red Marbles
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
'Hello Barry, how are you today?
'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?
'Good. Anything I can help you with?
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr Miller
'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?
'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller
'I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red
one like this at home?' the store owner asked
'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr Miller told the
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Years later Mr Miller died
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.
'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho .
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles
The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
What's your excuse? Your attitude towards life defines not only who you are, but the quality of life you are after.
Hi! I just wanted to say that I am this little boy's mom! His name is Cody McCasland and he will be 8 years old next month. We have just gotten news of this post and email that is being spread around and are very touched. If you would like to learn more about Cody, please visit his website. Thanks!
Whatever it is that has been bugging you, doesn't seem so bad anymore, does it?
If only we all could have the spirit that this little boy has. And look at his beautiful smile.
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles:
IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!
Dear Will and Guy
I am sending you this story as it could help others who are facing a hard and painful period in their lives over the health of a child or young relative.
My son Cameron has just started high school and watching climb on the school bus filled me with pride and a sense of overwhelming happiness that this young boy had overcome all that life had thrown at him and had done so much good as well, as I wiped the tears away I knew he would feeling nervous but that he would overcome and make us even more proud, this is Cameron's story so far...
Cameron was born on the 16th of May 1998. He was a premature baby but soon grew in to a loving and caring one year, but two weeks after his first birthday we noticed that he was pale and crying for attention which was something that he never did. A visit to the doctors followed with a ear infection diagnosed and penicillin given the next day he was worse and had started to projectile vomit we rushed him back to the doctors where a young doctor told us to get straight to the hospital at Preston and she would phone ahead to tell them we were coming.
As soon as he was admitted we were told he needed a blood transfusion as his hg level was really low. He had the transfusion and seemed a little better but during the night he was getting paler and weaker, the staff at the hospital told us he was getting seriously ill at this point and we were being transferred to the Royal Manchester children's hospital as they were so concerned for his life. We arrived at the hospital to be told that his hg level was 3.2 and he would need a operation to get more blood in to him as his veins had all prolapsed, so a cut down to a main artery was needed he was diagnosed with having serious auto immune haemolytic anaemia. Over the next 2 weeks he needed regular blood transfusions and was put on high dose steroids and immune suppressant drugs. At this point he suffered a thrombosis in his right leg and was started on heparin and warfarin.
Over the next three years our lives revolved around going to the hospital, transfusions, blood counts intense medications, we had also noticed that Cameron was bruising very easily and we were devastated to find out that he was also destroying his platelets as well as his red blood cells, this condition is called Evans syndrome and we were told that this was a whole new problem and that he was going to have chemotherapy to try and control it. So for the next two years we had 4 courses of chemotherapy followed by immunoglobulin treatment all this drained Cameron but still the little fighter fought on. The last course of chemo failed as Cameron's immune system had learned to overcome the affects of the treatment so we were back to square one by this time Cameron had started school, and was taking months off so was falling behind. He could not attend nursery or pre school when he was younger as any infections picked up off other children would make him poorly again.
At this time another bombshell was dropped on us after all the medication etc Cameron was now diabetic and needed insulin 4 times daily another year of high steroids followed with all the problems associated with them water retention, bloatedness, temper, and behavioural problems at this time we were asked if Cameron would try a new treatment called mychrophenolate we agreed we would try anything to help Cam have a better life and slowly things did get better. We stopped the steroids the blood counts became more normal and our little boy had more time at school and finished last term with high grades in all his SATS tests we were so proud ......but this is just one part of Cameron's amazing story ........
When he was four he was watching TV after treatment on the ward when he noticed a brass plaque on the TV "What's that Daddy" he asked and I explained that some kind people had raised some money and bought the TV so poorly children could watch it while in hospital. "I want to do that as well" he said. So the next weekend at home we held a raffle in the village pub and Cameron drew the winning ticket and raised £100.00 and presented 2 TV sets to the hospital ward, there were 30 beds and only 18 TV sets. In just two months Cameron had equipped them all doing fund raising events there was 10 wards on the hospital and within 3 years Cameron had equipped them all with toys, books, games, computers, etc he has so far raised £88 390.00 doing all kinds of things junior runs dressed as superman, sitting in a bath of beans and soup, song-nights, raffles, walks, car washes, talked his mum into a bungee jump, and abseil, me in to 2 head shaves, a chest wax, a skinny dip on the 1st of Jan in the sea at Blackpool and all other things.
Two years ago he learned his beloved Pendlebury hospital was closing down and a appeal was being started to raise £20 000 000.00 for parents quarters and equipment "We have to help daddy" he said so we did and Cameron has fronted numerous events and fund raised tirelessly for them raising £18.200,000 so far, and with the final event being in November we are confident of achieving this and Cameron has been asked to give a speech on the night at the Hilton hotel in Manchester.
During his fundraising Cameron has met many famous people including 2 prime ministers, the royal family, sportsmen and actors who have been amazed by his story. He has given heart rending speeches that have had audiences in tears one is on the children's champions websites the award he won in March, he has featured in the media, television and radio he is only 11 years old. He is our hero and always when asked why he does what he does it is the same reply "I just want to help other poorly children". So when I saw that 11 year old boy with over 800 hospital admissions get on that bus there was a huge feeling of pride in my heart and even when things are getting you down always try to take positives out of negatives.
Andy Small - Cameron's proud daddy.
Each month Will and Guy get a lot of letters, but this is one of the most heart-warming and inspirational story about kids that we have received. Just in case you are wondering if it can be true, see more about Cameron here
Farmer Jones had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 little pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy, Andy.
'Mister,' Andy said quietly, 'I want to buy one of your puppies.'
'Well,' said the Farmer Jones, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, 'These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.'
Andy hung his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to Farmer Jones.
'I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?'
'Sure,' said Farmer Jones and with that he let out a whistle. 'Here, Poppy!' he called. Out from the kennels and down the ramp ran Poppy followed by four little balls of fur.
Andy pressed his face against the chain link fence while his eyes danced with delight as the dogs made their way to the fence. He noticed something else stirring inside the kennel. Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up.
'I want that one,' Andy said, pointing to the runt. Farmer Jones knelt down at the boy's side and explained, 'Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.'
With that Andy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, 'You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.'
With tears in his eyes, Farmer Jones reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.
'How much?' asked Andy.
'No charge,' answered Farmer Jones, 'There's no charge for love.'
Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a friend.
If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.
A Lovely, Moving Short Story Suitable For Adults And Children
'Watch out! You nearly broadsided that car!' My father yelled at me.
'Can't you do anything right?'
Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.
'I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving.' My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.
Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil.
What could I do about him? Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had revelled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered gruelling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.
The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.
Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived.
But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.
My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counselling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.
The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered. In vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, 'I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.' I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.
I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odour of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.
I pointed to the dog. 'Can you tell me about him?' The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement.
'He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.' He gestured helplessly.
As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. 'You mean you're going to kill him?'
'Ma'am,' he said gently, 'that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog.'
I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. 'I'll take him,' I said.
I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch.
'Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!' I said excitedly.
Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. 'If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it' Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.
Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples.
'You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!' Dad ignored me. 'Did you hear me, Dad?' I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate.
We stood glaring at each other like duellists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.
Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.
It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.
Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room . Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly y sometime during the night.
Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favourite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.
The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. 'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers.'
'I've often thanked God for sending that angel,' he said.
For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article ...
Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. . .his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.
Life is too short for drama and petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly
Live While You Are Alive.
Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.
And if you don't send this to at least 4 people - who cares?
But do share this with someone. Lost time can never be found.
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