Jacky-Jack woke up on a nice, Thursday morning to the smell of fresh-baked rolls, sweet cinnamon something-something, and a strange scent he had never smelled before.
He went to the back sliding door and lightly thumped his head against the glass to get the gardener’s attention, he wanted to know what the lovely smells were all about. When the gardener came to let him in, she said “Happy Thanksgiving Jacky-Jack!”
“Happy Things-Giving” Said Jacky-Jack, “what kind of things am I getting?”
The gardener laughed softly and said, “oh Jacky-Jack, not ‘Things-giving’ it’s ‘thanksgiving’, it’s a time when we think about all of the things we are thankful for”
“Great!” said Jacky-Jack, “So just give me something, and I will be thankful for it!”
“What’s something that you’re thankful for right now, Jacky-Jack?” asked the gardener, as she headed outside to sift some fresh dirt for him.
“I don’t know.” said Jacky-Jack. “you haven’t given it to me yet”. Just like clockwork, Jacky-Jack grabbed a plastic bowl from the bottom drawer for his breakfast dirt that he knew was coming. While he waited for the gardener to return, he tried to think about things to be thankful for.
When the gardener came in, Jacky-Jack stated very confidently, “I am thankful for this bowl, because it holds delicious dirt for me!”
“Good job Jacky-Jack! That is a good thing to be thankful for. What else can you think of?”
“Um, those wonderful smells? What is that?” said Jacky-Jack.
“Oh that’s chocolate cream pie, and cake for dessert after our Thanksgiving dinner, oh and I’m making some rolls” said the gardener
“They smell great! But do you have any mud pie?” said Jacky-Jack.
“Well I don’t have one ready, but I’ll tell you what. If you will be on your best behavior today, I’ll make you one for after your dirt dinner” said the gardener.
“Awesome!” Said Jacky-Jack. He began to think about the delicious mud pie he would get when he finished his dinner.
Just then, Jacky-Jack’s face got very grumpy as he looked outside, there was Jeff, sitting in Jacky-Jack’s spot.
“JEFF IS SITTING IN MY SPOT!” Shouted Jacky-Jack angrily. Jeff was a big squash, not really mean, he just did his own thing, and he was the biggest gourd in the garden, so he sat wherever he wanted. Jacky-Jack didn’t even care that he was smaller than Jeff, all he cared about was getting his spot back. He stormed out the door, and headed straight for Jeff, flying past the gardener.
“Jacky-Jack? Where are you going?” asked the gardener. She knew that he loved his breakfast, and he only just came in, so it didn’t make sense for him to head back outside again.
Jacky-Jack did not respond, he just bounced up to where Jeff was sitting and thumped him as hard as he could, which was actually not very noticeable to a big gourd, like Jeff.
“Can I help you little guy?” said Jeff, somewhat annoyed.
“GET OUT OF MY SPOT!” demanded Jacky-Jack.
“The garden is for everyone, we don’t have ‘spots'” said Jeff.
“Yes we do!” said Jacky-Jack, “and right now, you’re in mine, so you better get out before I get really mad!”
Jeff didn’t respond, and you could hardly blame him. Jacky-Jack was too little to do anything to Jeff, plus Jacky-Jack was being completely ridiculous with his shouting and demanding, there’s no need to respond to someone who is talking like that.
Jacky-Jack didn’t like being ignored, so he bumped Jeff again for good measure, and headed back to the house. Even though Jeff barely noticed Jacky-Jack’s tiny little thud on his side.
When Jacky-Jack got back inside the house, he shouted “I’m so mad at squash-face Jeff!”.
“Jacky-Jack! What the heck in the world is wrong with you?” asked the gardener, with a look of both surprise and disappointment.
“Jeff took my spot in the garden, and he won’t move! This is going to ruin my whole day! No, my WHOLE LIFE!!!”
Obviously, Jacky-Jack was being pretty dramatic about the whole thing, he tends to get that way sometimes.
“Jacky-Jack, I’m very disappointed in you. The garden is for everyone, not just you, and if you feel like someone is in your spot, all you have to do is ask them. Jeff is a very nice squash, and I bet he would have moved for you if you’d just asked him nicely”
The gardener put some more dishes in the dishwasher, and then continued,
“and I saw the whole thing here from the Kitchen window; you hit him TWICE! And you yelled at him. I think Jeff did the right thing by ignoring you because you were not being nice to him. When he saw that you were being unreasonable, he stopped talking with you. Honestly Jacky-Jack, I don’t blame him for his actions, what did you expect him to do!?”
Jacky-Jack did not respond, he pretended to still be angry, but really, he was feeling embarrassed as he thought about how unkind he had been to Jeff. As Jacky-Jack thought about his actions, and how mean he had been when he was angry, he began to feel more embarrassed, and very sad inside.
“I’m sorry” said Jacky-Jack, “I just didn’t expect anyone to be in the spot that I always like to be in”
“Thank you Jacky-Jack” said the gardener, “You know, life is going to give you lots of things that you don’t expect, some of them you will like, and some of them you will not, but if you will try to be happy no matter what, then you will be a lot nicer to be around, and others will be more likely to give you what you want even if you want them to move out of ‘your’ special spot.”
“I think I understand now.” said Jacky Jack, “Can I still have my mud pie?” he asked.
“No Jacky-Jack” said the gardener, “mud pie is a special treat for you, and when you chose to be mean to Jeff, you lost the privilege of having your treat. You need to learn that your actions have consequences”
“What are consequences?” asked Jacky-Jack.
“Consequences are what happens when you do something. If you want good consequences, then you need to do good things. Do you see how that works?” said the gardener.
“I think so” said Jacky-Jack sadly, “but if I can’t have my mud pie, then this is going to be a very sad day, isn’t it?”
“Of course not, Jacky-Jack” said the gardener, “you can always be happy no matter what you have or don’t have, all you need to do is be thankful for something”
Jacky-Jack smiled as he thought about what the gardener said.
“Have you thought about something you’re thankful for Jacky-Jack?” Asked the gardener.
“Yes” said Jacky-Jack, “I’m thankful that I have you. You help me understand things better, and show me how to be happy, and even if I don’t get my mud pie today, I will always have you”.
“That’s the spirit Jacky-Jack! Well done!” Said the gardener, “now there’s just one thing left to do, do you know what that is?”
“Yes” said Jacky-Jack, “I need to tell Jeff that I’m sorry for being mean to him”
“That’s right” said the gardener.
So Jacky-Jack told Jeff that he was sorry for being mean to him, and Jeff said, “That’s okay little buddy, I’ll try to be nicer too, okay?”
“Okay” said Jacky-Jack.
And they had the best Thanksgiving ever, not because Jacky-Jack got to eat pie, because he didn’t, but because he learned how to be thankful, and when you are thankful, you are happy.
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