Vol. 12


The Tote Bag

1977; St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Today was the day when Kelli got her Girl Scout cookie form. Bev — my red-headed, crazy grandma— watched Kelli, my mom, sprint to the doorstep, waving a paper in her hand with her dimples shining in the sun. Kelli was so excited to sell cookies, but she was even more excited about the prize — a tote bag. This tote bag wasn’t any ordinary bag. The bag was pink with the Girl Scout logo embroidered in green on the side. The straps were also green. As Kelli was admiring the picture of the bag on the form, Bev was surprised about the number of cookies Kelli would have to sell in order to get the tote bag — 600 boxes.

Bev stared at Kelli with a struggling grin on her face, thinking about how she was going to sell all those cookies. There was no way Kelli could sell all those boxes. Bev knew she had to take some of the work into her own hands. The next day Bev dropped Kelli off at school and made her way to work, ready to sell some cookies. Bev walked into her office building with a plan in her mind. “I will sell cookies to every person I work with,” Bev thought. The day went quickly, and Bev ended up selling about 150 boxes of cookies. But that was all the people she worked with.

The day ended, and Bev was exhausted. She went home feeling defeated. At this point she was desperate, because she knew she couldn’t sell any more cookies at her office, so she made a new plan. She called the secretaries’ office to put a notice in the paper. The notice read, “Help put food on our table for a single mom! Buy our Girl Scout cookies! We need the money.” Bev, being the person she is, was exaggerating. A whole lot of lies were put into this ad. But Bev just wanted Kelli to be happy by winning the tote bag.

A couple days later the ad started to work. The cookie boxes sold were racking up. Finally the tote bag was theirs. At the next Girl Scout meeting Kelli — or should I say Bev — received her prize. Bev, and all the other Girl Scouts, were so happy for Kelli, and Kelli appeared to be happy, too. But deep down, Kelli didn’t feel right. She felt guilty that she had never sold one box of cookies out of the 600.

Since Kelli never got to sell any boxes of cookies, she felt she didn’t deserve the prize. Bev just saw the prize and not the responsibility for winning. So Kelli learned that she cannot let Bev get her hands on the cookie form. If someone makes a goal, they shouldn’t let someone else achieve their goal for them.

Connor McMillin; Missouri, USA



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