in the eyes of the beholder

There once was a girl who had to go live in another country even though she didn’t want to. At first she was very angry and unhappy. She cried a lot and said she would be happy only if her mama and papa would buy her an American Girl Doll. But her mama explained (over and over again) that American Girl Dolls were out of the question, and their price range.

“I just need a toy!” the little girl sobbed. “I need a doll!”

“Why don’t you find a stick and tape a paper circle to it for a head—then you’ll have a doll,” the mother suggested cheerfully. She didn’t understand why the girl couldn’t just use her imagination a little.

“No, I need a real doll.”

“Well, we’ll look for a doll for you,” the mother sighed. “Remember, your birthday is coming up.”

And then, on Valentine’s Day, it happened. At the little girl’s school, the students all put their money together to pay for their lunch: Happy Meals from McDonald’s. Along with her hamburger and French fries and little packet of ketchup, the little girl got a toy. A real, honest-to-goodness, piece-of-plastic-crap toy.

It had blue hair and detachable pieces and the girl glowed with happiness.

“Mama,” she said that night, “I have a toy. I am so happy now.”

The end.

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