Friday, February 4, 2011

The Parable of the Bike

Once upon a time, a little girl was walking downtown with her dad. They had just finished up their shopping, and were going back to the car to head home. The little girl was quite bored after the long day, and was clutching to her dad's hand. As they crossed the street, a store caught the little girl's attention. It was a small store, with a large front window, and in that window was a bright, shiny pink bike, with a white basket, and tassels on the handlebars. The girl stopped abruptly and stared at the bike. She released her father's hand, and went right up to the window, gawking at it.
"Daddy!" she said. "I want that bike!"
The father looked at the glowing face of his daughter, then at the bike. He considered long and hard. He looked at the price tag. It wasn't too bad. But, he saw an opportunity to teach his young daughter a valuable life lesson.
"How about this, honey. I'll start giving you an allowance, and every time you do your chores, I'll give you money, and you can save up and buy the bike yourself."
The daughter thought about it for a moment. "Ok, daddy!" She said excitedly.
Over the next couple weeks, the little girl did every chore her mom and dad asked her to do, and kept her allowance money in a piggy bank she kept hidden under her bed. Every night, she would count it out.
Finally, a few weeks later, the little girl came running down the stairs.
"Daddy! Daddy! I have enough!" The little girl squealed with excitement. She was holding her piggy bank. "We can get the bike!"
"Ok, honey," her father laughed. They got in the car and headed toward the store. When they got their, the little girl was excited to see the bike still their. She ran into the store, her father right behind her.
"I'd like the pink bike, please!" the girl said to the man behind the counter. The man laughed and got the bike.
The clerk rang up the price, and the little girl spilled the contents of her piggy bank onto the counter. The man counted it all up. The grand total of the girl's savings was $5.75. The bike cost $40. The father looked down and laughed to himself. He apparently forgot to explain the purpose and value of money. The clerk also laughed, recognizing what was going on.
"Honey, you don't quite have enough money," the father began. He saw the smile disappear from his daughter's face. "But, I'll pay the difference so you can get it." The father pulled out his wallet and handed the cashier the money.
The little girl happily rode the bike all the way home, and continued to do all the chores her mom and dad asked her to.

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