Rock Candy


A couple of days after Halloween, my six-year-old neighbor came over and sat on the sidewalk beside me. He wanted to tell me all about his ‘big adventure’ on the night of the annual candy-grab.

The day of Halloween, he and his brother saw me as I was heading across the street to check the mail. They each wanted me to know what they were going as that evening.

As they were getting ready to head inside to get ready, the six-year-old ask, “So why do I have to say ‘Trick-or-Treat.'”

In as simple terms as possible, I explained that ‘Trick-or-Treat,’ should be asked like a question, that way the people whose house he was at, had a choice – either give him some candy or be tricked. I could tell immediately that the gears in his head were moving and steadily picking us steam.

“If they want me to ‘trick’ them, what do I do?” he asked.

“Well,” I instructed, “I used to put a couple of rocks in my pocket and if I had to trick someone, I’d hand them a rock and say, ‘Here’s some rock-candy.'”

The smile that came across the boy’s face was beyond exceptional – beaming from ear-to-ear. Last I saw of him that night, he was searching the gravel drive between our houses for those perfect stones.

And that brings us back to our sitting on the sidewalk, two days later chatting about his evening.

“Here’s 50-cents,” he said as he held out two quarters for me.

“What’s that for?” I asked, smiling but not wanting to take his money.

“You told me about the rocks and when I did it, the man laughed and gave me a dollar. That’s your half,” he explained.

“No,” I replied, “You did all the work. I jus’ gave you the idea, so you keep it.”

I could see his feelings were on the verge of being hurt, so I offered, “But since you got your candy bucket here, I would love to have a piece of candy,” as I pointed at a small chocolate bar.

“Here,” he said, as he happily handed me a fun-size Milky Way bar.

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