Grampa Was A Stickler For Honesty
Having someone's ear can be a no-no!
Honesty is its own reward.
A short walk had turned into a period of being lost, a longer than wanted period.
When I finally recognized something familiar and found my way out of the woods behind my grandparents' farm, I was hungry as all get out.
The corn field was in front of me and I grabbed an ear of corn, husked it and feasted on the sweet, rich, milk taste and substance of the kernels as I walked to the farmhouse.
Entering the house I still had the last of the ear almost finished. Grampa and my Grandmother were just finishing supper, and my empty place was waiting for me with my supper still on the stove.
"I got disoriented," I said.
"What's that in your hand?", Grampa asked.
"I grabbed an ear at the cornfield", I said.
"Did you ask first?"
"I would have, if anyone had been there."
"That is called theft, taking something that belongs to another without permission."
"I can see your point, sort of like shoplifting, I guess."
"Not grand theft, but yes, petty theft. I'll need an affidavit."
"An affidavit in which you admit that you have stolen without permission. Your grandmother can draw it up and you can sign it."
Grandmother winked at me, but I was mortified, and ate the supper I had so looked forward to, in silence except for the now meaningless chit chat.
When the dishes were done, Grandmother wrote out "the affidavit" and Grampa watched as I signed it and promised that I would never take something belonging to another without their prior permission.
Grampa said, "Let that be that. I'm going to bed."
Grandmother winked at me, and pointed to the affidavit.
I remember the date to this day. It was September 6, 1957.
I read through the affidavit until I came to the date showing when we had signed.
Grandmother had purposely entered the date under each signature line where we had each dutifully signed, Grampa, Grandmother, and I.
The date line read "September 6, 1857."
I have the original framed on my wall, as a reminder not to steal, and not to sign anything without reading it carefully first.
© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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