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Once upon a time, not so long ago, there lived a boy.  This boy had a shiny toy that he liked to play with now and then, but he really did not take care of it at all.  He would play with it when he wanted and then toss it aside whenever a new toy caught his attention, not even putting it in a safe place where if could not be damaged.  The toy was very sad about this and wondered why he did not care about it at all and pondered why the boy cared for the other toys, but not for it.

Years went by, and the boy continued to abuse the toy, playing with it when he wanted, tossing it aside when another toy caught his interest....The toy was getting worn out, it was no longer shiny, and new..it was showing wear as toys will do as they get older.  The toy had been happy upon occasion because for a while the boy had chosen to play with it now and again....until one day the boy came across a favorite toy he had played with in the past.  The boy was so delighted at finding his old favorite toy that he took the toy that he had used, and abused for so long and threw it far out into a field, certain he would never play with it again, and why should he, after all, his old favorite was back...

Months passed, and the toy out in the field felt sadder than ever.  Knowing in its tiny toy heart that it was now nothing more than trash to the boy since it had been thrown out without a care.  The toy laid in the field gathering dust, and rust feeling like it's whole world was ending.  Then one day another boy found the toy in the field.  The new boy studied it, and seeing past the rust, and the dust he thought "Wow what a great toy.  I could take this home and fix it up like new."

The second boy was an honest lad, and not wanting to steal someone else's toy he created a flyer with a picture of the toy with a note that said "found", and he put his phone number on the flyers he made and posted them around the town.  As he waited to see if anyone called to claim the toy he began loving restoring it.  Sanding away rust, carefully adding coats of paint until, when he was done the toy looked magnificent again.  Weeks passed and the second boys phone never rang.  The toy was delighted with his new owner, it felt treasured and appreciated where it had once felt only like trash.

Several seasons passed, and the flyers faded and flew away, both staples and tape having finally failed.  Throughout this time, the toy remained happy, because the new owner cared for it, and always put it in a safe place when he was done playing with it.  The new owner cherished and loved the toy, playing with it every day, and taking care of it after he was done playing each day.

In the meantime, the old toy owner's  favorite toy eventually broke beyond repair and cut him deeply on the sharp shards even though he had taken good care of it.  He was brokenhearted over his favorite toy breaking, and he once again thought of the toy he had so callously thrown out into the field untended, and uncared for.  He decided to go retrieve that toy to play with.  You can imagine dear readers, his surprise when the toy was not in the field.  He searched, and searched but it was not there.  He wondered where the old toy could have possibly gone to.

A few days later the new toy owner had taken the toy out to play.  The previous toy owner saw the toy and recognizing it as his old toy approached the new toy owner demanding the toy back.  The new toy owner simply laughed, and said, "I found this in a field months ago, I posted a flyer saying I had found this awesome toy.  I waited, and waited and no one ever called me back.  So I fixed up the toy and kept it as my own.  You had your chance to claim it, and you did not, so now it is mine."

The old owner tried to cry and complain to the local constable, but the constable only laughed.  "I saw those flyers son, that was months ago.  If you throw something away you should not be upset, or surprised if someone else claims it!"  The old owner felt very sad then, and realized this toy had been more of a treasure than ever he had realized, none of the other toys had it's durability, or character....and now he could never play with it ever again because it now belonged to someone else.

The toy was overjoyed that his new owner had fought to keep it, Finally, the toy felt, it was truly treasured and valued as it should be. That night the old toy owner cried himself to sleep, while the new toy owner placed the toy lovingly on his pillow smiling contentedly at it as he drifted off to sleep.

The moral of the story is: Take care of the people that love you, treat them with respect, and value, or someday they will be forever gone from you.  Discovered and claimed by someone who does cherish them



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