How Daren Won
A True Story
Daren liked to be a winner. You know, the one who is the fastest in the race. Or the best at the game. A winner is the person who pushes others down and grabs to get what he wants. At least, that is what Daren thought. “I won!” he would shout, when he beat his younger brother to the table—or finished his food first. “You’re a loser!”
But Auntie had different ideas. “We all can be winners,” she told him. “When Trevor finishes his food, he’ll be a winner, too.”
Daren frowned. He didn’t know if he liked that idea.
The next morning Auntie read to them the story of Daniel and the lions. Ever since he had first heard it, Daren had liked that story. He wanted to get to the part that told how God shut the lions’ mouths. But Auntie was talking about the bad princes who wanted to get Daniel in trouble. “At first they watched to see if he would do something wrong, but Daniel always obeyed and did his work well. Then they thought of a plan to trick the king,” Auntie said. “ ‘We will throw Daniel in the lion’s den and get rid of him!’ ”
The boys looked at the picture of the princes laughing. “Were they losers?” Trevor asked.
“Yes,” said Auntie. “When we want to hurt others and be mean to them, we are the losers.” Then she told how Daniel was a winner because he trusted in God. The bad princes thought that the lions would eat Daniel, but God took care of him.
“He shut the lions’ mouths!” Daren said.
“Yes,” said Auntie. “God loves us and can help us obey and be safe. I want you to do what is right and be winners, too.” She hugged them both and Daren smiled. Auntie was nice and he loved her.
That afternoon he was doing an activity with Trevor. There were lots of interesting puzzle pieces with pictures on them. While Daren colored a picture, Auntie told Trevor to look for the puzzle pieces that matched. “Try to find this man with a green hat,” she said. “One piece can be for Daren and one can be for you.”
Trevor looked through the box. “Here it is,” he said. “It’s the only one.”
“That’s mine!” Daren shouted, as he grabbed the piece away from his brother.
“No, it isn’t!” Trevor said angrily, trying to get it back.
Daren pushed him away and Trevor fell to the floor with a loud wail.
“What has happened?” Auntie asked, coming into the room. She looked at the boys and frowned. “Daren, did you take the piece away from Trevor?”
Daren’s eyebrows went down and he pressed his lips together. He clenched the piece tightly, when Auntie held out her hand. “No!” he shouted, when she told him to give it back. “No, I won’t!”
“If you can’t play nicely, you will need to sit in a chair,” Auntie told him.
Daren kicked and fought, but she picked him up and carried him into the next room. “No, no, no!” Daren shouted. He wiggled and kicked some more, so Auntie sat down and held him in her lap.
Daren was mad. He didn’t want to be made to sit still. He growled and squirmed, but Auntie held him still. He tried to scratch her, but his fingers couldn’t reach far enough. He was a prisoner and he hated it. “Meanie!” he shouted.
“I will let you go when you can sit still,” Auntie said quietly. “I want you to be safe and happy.”
“Meanie!” Daren growled again. He felt Auntie’s strong arms and kicked and wiggled some more. Suddenly he bent over and tried to bite her. Auntie just held him tighter. Why didn’t she just let go? He hated her!
“I love you,” Auntie whispered. “When you are angry inside and want to hurt others, that makes you a loser. I want you to be a winner and do what is right.”
Daren thought about that. He kicked his foot and frowned. He hated being in trouble! But was Auntie really trying to help him be a winner?
Finally Daren stopped wiggling and Auntie let go of his arms. She smiled at him and gave him a hug. It felt good. “Now you will need to sit for three minutes,” she said, setting him down on the chair. Daren sat still. He didn’t feel so angry anymore. Auntie had smiled at him. She had wanted him to be a winner.
When the three minutes were up, it was time to talk to Trevor. Daren looked at the floor. It was hard to say sorry. It felt like being a loser to give up the puzzle piece.
But Auntie encouraged him. “What should you do if you want something that your brother has?” she asked. Trevor smiled at him and held out the piece.
“Can I have it?” Daren asked. “Please?”
Trevor handed it to him and then gave him a hug. Daren hugged him back. Now they were both winners.