Sweet Story I Received (Long)


12 Years
Oct 19, 2007
Newton, NC
If this doesn't pull at your heartstrings, it's stopped beating.


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early
potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone
and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a
basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the
display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for
creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the
conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner)

and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"H'lo, Mr. Miller.. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin'
them peas. They sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"

"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with? "

"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr.

"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those

"All I got's my prize marble here."

"Is that right? Let me see it" said Miller.

"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is
blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red
one like this at home?" the store owner asked.

"Not zackley but almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with
you and next trip this way let me look at that red
marble" Mr. Miller told the boy.

"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over
to help me. With a smile she said, "Ther e are two
other boys like him in our community, all three are
in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to
bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or
whatever. When they come back with their red
marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't
like red after all and he sends them home with a bag
of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when
they come on their next trip to the store."

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with
this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado,
but I never forgot the
story of this man, the boys,
and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the
previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit
some old friends in that Idaho community and while I
was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They
were having his visitation that evening and kno wing
my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.
Upon arrival at the mortuary, we fell into line to
meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer
whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was
in an army uniform and the other two wore nice
haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very
professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller,
standing composed and smiling by her husband's
casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed
her on the cheek, spoke briefly
with her and moved
on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by
one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his
own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket.
Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs.. Miller. I told her who I
was an d reminded her of the story from those many
years ago and what she had told me about her
husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes
glistening, she took my hand and led me to the

"Those three young men who just left were the boys I
told you about. They just told me how they
appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at
last, when Jim could not change his mind about color
or size....they came to pay their debt."

"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this
world," she
confided, "but right now, Jim would
consider himself the richest man in Idaho."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless
fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath
were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words,
but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the< BR>> breaths we take, but by the moments that take our

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A
fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself... An
unexpected phone call from an old friend. Green
stoplights on your way to work... The fastest line
at the grocery store... A good sing-along song on
the radio... Your keys found right where you left

Me when I finished reading it
Last edited:


12 Years
May 24, 2007
Do salty tears hurt a computer keyboard??

What a wonderful story, one that so many people should learn from and live by.

Thanks for sharing.

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