Sale of bike results in a tear-filled story

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I first saw her when she came to the garage sale my wife, Janet, held at the Victorian Rose Inn.

I imagine she was about 9 years old; she was just a little wisp of a thing. What caught my eye about her was the faded, old men’s wallet that she had in her hand as she looked inside it.

It looked like her father and brother were with her. It was a cold day and all three were only wearing light T-shirts, and we were wearing winter clothing. As I went in the house for coffee, for it was a cold outdoors, I saw the little boy get on the exercycle bike and was pumping for all he was worth.

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When I came back a short while later, Janet pulled me to one side and told me she sold the old Huffy girl’s bike for $5 and wanted me to tell Ellie her sister what we got for it, for it was Ellie’s bike, and we were selling for a price of $90. I asked her how could she do a thing like that and she told me the story.

The little girl looked at the bike so lovingly that Janet came over to her and asked if she could help her.

Well, the little girl told Janet her girlfriend had a bike just like this, that she could ride hers and she would like one just like this. She told Janet she had $5 that she herself had earned and that she would like to buy it, Janet told her the price and maybe her father could help her. She told Janet that her father had no money to help buy it for her. The father said I told her she couldn’t buy it as I have no money.

The little girl started to cry with such despair that Janet told her of course she could buy the bike for $5.

The little girl opened up her old faded tan wallet and took out the $5 she had worked so hard for. Then with tears coming down her face wrapped her arms around Janet’s legs and thanked her over and over again.

The father then asked Janet if she really meant it and that his girl could have the bike for $5. Janet said, yes, she can have it, and the father thanked her profusely. Well, at that moment, Janet had tears in her eye as the little girl rode off with her new bike down our driveway.

When Janet told me what she had done I started to cry, realizing it is better to give than to receive.

A few days later, when I saw Ellie, I had to tell her what Janet had done. She let out a few tears also and then told us that she thought we would only get $10 or $15 for the bike.

Corry McDermott

Albert Lea