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All Sin’s Apples Have Worms

 Bo walked home from school every day twirling and banging his empty tin pail. The days were hot, but they were getting cooler and the apples were beginning to turn just the slightest shade of red. Everyday Bo passed Mr. Cinder’s apple orchard. It was the only apple orchard Bo had every seen. All the land was used for growing cotton and peas. “Cash crops,” Bo’s Dad, said. “No body can waste land or time growing apples.” But everyday Bo stopped long enough to eye the apples. He climbed the rail fence made from the cotton woods that grew along the creek. His body was pressed against the No Trespassing sign that Mr. Cinder had scrawled on a piece of board. Inside the fence was a huge apple orchard. It looked like the orchard stretched for miles in every direction, although the entire orchard was only five acres. Bo’s eyes searched the trees like a miner searches for gold. He spotted first one and then another and another. The tree limbs were full of shiny green apples, but they would turn red soon.

 Bo wanted one of those apples. The only time Bo ever got an apple was in his stocking on Christmas morning. They were a poor family. “It takes everything I can do to keep food on the table to feed all those hungry mouths,” as Dad put it.

 Bo hurried to Mr. Cinder’s fence everyday as he walked home from school. The days got shorter and the nights got cooler. The apples were easier to spot as they turned red. Bo’s mouth watered as he stood on Mr. Cinder’s fence looking at all the limbs loaded with apples. Then Bo spotted one. It is a beauty. The biggest, reddest apple he’s ever seen. He could almost taste that sweet apple now. He could hear the crispy crunch and feel the juice running down his chin.

  Mr. Cinder would never miss one apple. The trees were loaded with apples. “What is one apple in a whole orchard of trees with hundreds, no thousands of apples on every tree. Mr. Cinder must have a million apples. Would he really miss one, one little apple? Of course not,” Bo reasoned.

 Bo looked around carefully. When he was sure no one was coming down the dirt road, he climbed the fence. Now to get the apple. He tried to climb the tree, but the branches were too high up. So he  got a stick off the ground and began to throw it at the apple. First, he knocked down a scrawny one. But Bo, wanted the big, red juicy one over his head. He took the scrawny apple and threw it at the branch holding the biggest apple Bo had ever seen. But he couldn’t get the apple to come down. Again and again he threw first the apple, then the stick, until beads of sweat covered his face and neck. It dripped on his shirt. He wiped the sweat from his eyes with the back of his hand. Finally, when the apple tumbled to the ground, Bo heard Mr. Cinder yelling, “Get outta my orchard.”

 Mr. Cinder’s face was blood red and he was waving his hands. “Get out of my orchard. Get out. I’ll tell your papa that you’ve been stealing my apples. Now get out and don’t ever climb that fence again. Can’t you read, boy?”  

Now Bo understood why the kids called him cinnamon face to his back. His face sure looked like cinnamon right now. Bo grabbed the apple, scrambled over the fence, but not without tearing his pants first, ran down the dirt road leaving a trail of dust as he ran.

 Bo ran until the orchard and Mr. Cinder was long out of sight. Bo was still clutching his apple when he stopped to rest under a shade tree beside the road. He rubbed the apple in his sweaty hands and then wiped it on the tail of his shirt. “You’re worth it,” Bo sighed as he bit into the beautiful red apple. Bo closed his eyes to enjoy the flavor. But the apple was a little softer than he had expected. He opened his eyes. In horror he discovered a worm in his apple. Well, if you must know, he discovered half a worm in his apple.

 Bo did exactly what you would do. He spit that apple out as fast as he could. He spit again and again, but the thoughts of that half of a worm in the apple or worse yet, that half in his. . . well, you get the picture. Bo was totally grossed out. Still spitting he made his way home.

 Bo stopped at the well that stood in front of his house. He plunged the bucket into the cool well and pulled up a bucket of water. But before he could take a sip from the dipper, his mother was standing beside him. “How did you get so dirty? Why are your pants torn? And where’s you lunch pail?”

 Bo shook his head and muttered, “It wasn’t worth it, Mama. It wasn’t worth it.”

Please understand that sin may look wonderful. The world wraps sin in beautiful, alluring packages, but never, ever forget ALL SIN’S APPLES HAVE WORMS, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

Copyright 2004 Let Us Teach KidsJacksonville, FL 32259 828 659-1919 


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