No one came to protest at the home on Friday or Saturday. They had won so it was not needed. A crowd started to gather Sunday morning around 10 o’clock in anticipation of the great day of receiving that had finally arrived. A big box six feet tall and several feet wide stood alone on the porch directly in front of the door of the house. It had a big red bow on top of it.
“I hope there a lot of good toys in the box,” said one girl who was among the first to arrive. “Is that box big enough to hold toys for all 99 of us?” asked a boy.
“Of course it is,” exclaimed another. The crowd continued to grow until at high noon Big Al and Jessie pushed their way through the crowd like triumphant leaders of a great revolt. They made their way to the top of the stairs and smiled at the great box.
“We have won!” exclaimed Big Al. “We have defeated the One! Now, there will be toys for everyone!” All of the children and all of the parents applauded and hooted and cheered. The anticipation in the crowd was at a fever pitch.
“We will now distribute the toys!” Another cheer and everyone moved a little closer. Big Al and Jessie reached up and pulled the top off the box together to show unity of purpose. Big Al leaned in, and, not seeing a toy at the top of the box, leaned in a bit further, then further and further until the bottom of the box became visible. There was not a single toy, just a note at the very bottom.
“There are no toys!” he yelled. “None…none at all!” His face was an odd combination of emotions; disbelief, shock, maybe anger, but also deep thought as he tried to find a way to explain his apparent failure. “They…they lied! That’s it. They lied, and all they left was a stupid note!”
A hush fell over the crowd. They were all caught off guard by this turn of events. “Well, what’s on the note? Maybe it has instructions on where to find the toys,” yelled a child from inside the crowd.
Big Al reached in to the box and strained to get the note off the bottom. He actually had to crush the box a bit on one side in order to reach it. He finally grasped it and brought it up to his face so he could see it. He could not believe what he read. He let his hand fall to his side with the note still in hand and looked out at the crowd not sure what to say.
“What does it say?” Various people shouted out from the crowd. “What does it say?”
“It…it says…. ‘Here are all of the toys that you deserve. You will notice the box is empty. It is empty because you do not have the right to take other people’s toys. Taking other people’s toys is stealing and that is wrong, even if it is done in the name of helping others.’”
Shock in the crowd quickly turned to anger as people within the crowd began shouting. “This is an outrage!” exclaimed on parent.
“It’s criminal!” yelled another.
“Where are the toys?” Some almost wailed in disbelief. Some of the children started to cry. They had been expecting free toys. How could anyone do this to them? Who would be so cruel as to promise toys and then not deliver them?
Big Al and Jessie began banging on the door to the house and shouting insults into the home. They started demanding that toys be brought out immediately, but there was no answer. None at all. The parents began moving around the house looking for another way in. One parent came into the garage and noticed something odd: The Goode’s car was gone. So was everything else. The garage was empty. No tools, no buckets of paint, no potting soil or old rags, no boxes, no cans no lawnmower…nothing. They were gone. Not just out for an errand but gone. Completely gone. They had moved.
No one had seen them leave. They had all ignored the house for two days because they were promised toys. When the moving van had arrived, they just assumed they were getting a big delivery of toys. No one noticed that the Goode’s had placed a ‘for sale’ sign right by their mailbox which had been covered by the crowd.
“Is this what we deserve?” asked a small girl.
“No,” said the mother, “they are just evil, selfish people who don’t know how to share.”
“Did we ever share with them?” The little one asked
“That doesn’t matter,” the parent scolded, “we shared their toys, that’s what we shared. That’s what we needed to share.”
“Maybe we could start our own lemonade stand and make extra money for toys,” the child said.
“You just don’t understand how things work,” she scolded again. The mother grabbed up her child and began to leave.
The crowd slowly dispersed. “Great job Big Al,” one of the bigger kids said sarcastically as he walked away.
“The 99 WILL prevail, we will win,” said Al trying desperately to get the momentum back from the crowd. No one was listening anymore. They simply walked away,slowly in somber contemplation over what had just happened. What did they deserve? What were they entitled too? Could this have been their fault? No. It was someone else’s fault. Someone else was to blame. It is always someone else’s fault. Frank Harold Goode and his parents were the only ones to blame.
Follow Frank’s business adventure from the beginning!