y bare feet slap against the cold, brick road. “Come back here you witch!” demands Mr. Johnson, the owner of the antique shop down the street. “You thief! I’ll call the cops!” Mr. Johnson starts chasing me down the road, bath-robe on. “Do you know how much that costs?”

“Really, Mr. Johnson? How much could it cost? It’s an apple. Give me a break!” I dodge a telephone pole to my left. “Whoa,” I say. Suddenly, I see Mr. Johnson right next to me. He has a broom in his hand and judging by the bitter look on his face, I can tell he’s not going to use it for sweeping.

“This apple was grown by Jonny Appleseed.” says Mr. Johnson. He takes a swing at me with the broom.

When I wake up, I am in my bed and Mr. Johnson is talking to my mother holding a dusty old apple in his hand. Mr. Johnson is the grumpiest person on 23rd street. He never gives me any of his antiques, even when I request one for Christmas. My family celebrates Christmas with Mr. Johnson because my dad is good friends with Mr. Johnson. Also, my parents feel bad for him because he lives all alone and used to have to spend Christmas alone.

I am somewhat to blame for his grumpiness. He’s only angry at me. He only yells at me. He only acts grumpy with me. I’ve always wondered why. My mom finally finds that I am awake and starts to talk to me in a soothing manner. “You should never steal anything if it doesn’t belong to you, no matter how small it is.”

There was something about my mother’s voice that made me want to listen to her. It was as if she was hypnotizing me. I get out of bed to go to the bathroom. As I walk out of the room, I see Mr. Johnson leaving. Suddenly, when Mom wasn’t looking, he reached out and grabbed a necklace on the stairs. ”Mom! Mr. Johnson stole your necklace! I saw it with my very own eyes. He did! He really did.”

“Jeff, don’t talk nonsense.” my mom replies. “He wouldn’t take anything. By the way, where is that necklace?”

“I’m telling you, he took it.” I reply.

My mom leaves to the kitchen, escaping the conversation. Meanwhile, I rush out the door, yelling Mr. Johnson’s name. “Mr. Johnson! Mr. Johnson!” I scream. ”Come back here, you thief! Do you know how much that costs? More than a stinking apple, I tell you!” I realize that Mr. Johnson had a reason to be angry at me. I stole something that was his. It may not have been so important to him, but it was his, not mine. I was reacting the same way that he had. I finally reach Mr. Johnson’s antique shop door and the necklace was on the doormat with a note saying:
Dear Jeff,

Now you know how I feel.


Mr. Johnson
*Shyan Koul is a 12 years old, 6th Grade student from Andover, Massachusetts, U.S.A. His interests are story reading, music and travel.
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