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Adapted from Tiger and Tom

Michael’s Scars

“Michael, I’ll need a nice long pole right away. Please run down to the woods and find a sapling that will work for this hen roost.”

Michael got his hatchet and trotted off to the woods. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and he decided to get the straightest and smoothest pole he could find. So he passed by several that would have worked, but didn’t look good enough to him. After awhile he came to a clearing. There, just across a fence, he saw a cherry tree loaded with fruit.

Michael loved cherries. “Mr. Brown won’t know if I take just a few,” he thought. He looked around carefully, and then climbed over the fence.

Some of the branches were low, and easy to reach. But the first cherries he tasted were still a bit yellow. “Those ones on that branch look riper,” he decided. So he swung himself up into the tree and tried a few more. But he still wasn’t satisfied. The cherries higher up always looked better. The fruit on the very top branch had the brightest color. “I’ll just cut off that branch, so I can eat the cherries on the way home.”

So Michael reached up and bent down the branch with one hand, and with the other started to cut it with his pocket knife. He knew his father would be waiting for him, so he cut as quickly as he could. Suddenly the knife slipped from the branch and sliced across the fingers of his left hand, cutting them to the bone.

The sight of the blood made him dizzy and faint. He lost his grip on the tree and fell through the branches to the ground. The shock brought him to his senses, and he fumbled to wrap his handkerchief around his bleeding fingers.

It was a very sad Michael that ran home that day. He hadn’t gotten the pole his father had asked, and he had stolen fruit from his neighbor. His mother cried as she washed and bandaged his hand, and Michael felt awful inside.

“My son,” his father said, “I am not going to chastise you. But when your fingers are healed, you must work to repay Mr. Brown for the damage you caused. I trust your wounds will be a daily reminder of the consequences of disobedience. And, oh, Michael, I pray that you will find the Savior, whose blood was shed for you, to wash away your sins, and make you an obedient boy.”

And Michael did repent and ask Jesus to give him a clean heart. Now he does what is right, and when his father asks him to get something, you can be sure that Michael will get it and come back right away. And if he is tempted to do something wrong, he has only to look at his hand and remember the cherry tree. His fingers are healed now, but he can still see the bright scars across them.