When I was in grade school, every year the school would inevitably send me home with something to sell as a fund raiser. They were adamant that we all HAD to do it. I would take my fliers home and hand them to my mom, who would humph and agree to purchase something.
We lived out in the country, so going door to door in our neighborhood wasn’t an option. I would have had to battle barbed wire fences and huge dogs. My parents were never too keen on asking their friends to buy things for me either, so I would usually end up taking my flier back with the one item my mom agreed to buy marked on it.
One particular year, however, they sent me home with a whole box of candy bars, and again I had no option. I’m sure my family bought a couple, but my mom told me that I would just have to take them back. I threw the box of chocolate on top of a pile of clothes on the overstuffed chair in my bedroom. As I added clothes to the pile, my candy bars got buried, and I forgot about them until it was time to take in our money, or in my case, the nearly full box of candy bars.
When I fished my box out from under the clothes, I was shocked to find a hole in the bottom. I pulled a candy bar out, and the wrapper had been chewed through and the chocolate was bitten and scratched. A mouse had found the chocolate on my chair! As I pulled each candy bar out, sure enough, they all had holes at the bottom. Worriedly, I took the box to my parents. “I guess we’ll just have to pay for them,” said my mom, resigned.
Well, what looked totally bleak turned into a great thing for me! I couldn’t just throw all those good chocolate bars away. I got to eat them, breaking off the chewed parts on the ends, of course!
One day I took a candy bar with me on the school bus. I was sitting by one of my best friends, Eva. Ever the prankster, I asked her if she wanted a piece of my chocolate. “Sure!” Neither one of us ever turned down candy. With a twinkle in my eye I handed her the section at the bottom that had been chewed on. When she was just about to put it in her mouth, I cried, “Stop! Don’t eat it. A mouse chewed on it!”
“Yeah, a big mouse named Esther!” she retorted and popped it into her mouth! I stared big eyed, completely wordless for once. Her chewing slowed as she noticed the look of true horror on my face, but what could be done about it then? We both laughed ourselves silly, and thankfully she didn’t hold it against me!