close shave for a little man



       Just a few days before our Winter break, I made a quick stop at the store on my way home from school.  To celebrate the season with my class, I bought all the colorful fixings needed to make gingerbread man cookies:  cookie mix, cookie cutters, red hots, candies, and frostings.  As I left the store and hurried across the busy parking lot to my car, I heard people behind me yelling out. I turned to see what all the excitement was.  Apparently, my bag was so full that one of the gingerbread man cookie cutters had fallen out and was lying in the driveway, right in the path of a heavy truck. The group on the sidewalk were yelling at me to go back, and to the approaching driver to stop, before he ran over the gingerbread man. 

       In response to their waving arms and jumping and loud voices, the truck slowed down and swerved just in time, missing it by a few inches. I smiled at the driver and retrieved my wayward, but intact, cookie cutter. After witnessing the close call and seeing the happy result, the crowd broke into spontaneous applause as I picked him up and I thanked them for caring.  Walking back to my car, I was reminded once again, of the inherent kindness that people carry around with them. This random crowd of people had taken a moment from their busy lives and long days to jump in and join together in an impromptu rally save this cookie cutter, as if it were an innocent kitten in harm’s way.  These little gestures in life clearly speak the loudest. 

       At school the next day, before making our cookies, I read the Gingerbread Man story to my class and told them about the near-miss experience that had occurred  just the night before.  Upon hearing this, one bright child offered an alternate explanation for how the the close call really came to be.  He wisely suggested that of course it hadn’t fallen out of my bag, but probably had tried to run away, just like in the book, and almost got run over in the process.  What a much more exciting and wonderful explanation this was!

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