Excerpt from
Fables of Faith

So Jimmy and Mike began throwing walnuts into the car grills and hearing them bag.

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The Walnuts

A Character story about honesty.

The Bible is certainly right when it says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." (Prov 22:15) Take Jimmy for instance. He, like other children, had lots of foolishness in his heart. Here's an example. In Proverbs 28:13 we are told, "He that covers his sin shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes it shall have mercy." Now Jimmy's idea was just the opposite. He thought that, when he did wrong, he should run away and hide and the trouble would soon disappear. Oh, how mistaken he was!

Jimmy lived on a rather busy street in the midst of a city. Several lots nearby were vacant in those days and this afforded Jimmy and his friends a place to play during the warm summer months. One vacant lot down the street had a large mud mole in the middle and an old overhanging tree to one side. One day while Jimmy was playing with his friend Pat at this mud hole, they both got frustrated. The mud was so thick that they couldn't even break through it, let alone make some nice, big mud pies. Perhaps if they could break through the shell on top, they'd find some softer mud. Their boots, and a brick nearby proved no match for that stubborn mud. Jimmy offered to climb into the tree and throw the brick onto the mud. Surely that would break it. But once into the tree, Jimmy accidentally dropped the brick too soon and it landed on Pat's head! The sight of blood gushing from the wound sent Jimmy running, not for help, but for the safety of his mother! I wonder if his mother noticed his sudden interest in being near her? Jimmy thought that the problem would go away after a while, that is, until he saw Pat with bandaged head marching along side his mother headed for his house!

One day about this same time, Jimmy's cousin Mike came with his family for a visit. Since Mike was about the same age as Jimmy, the two enjoyed playing together and it would seem, Mike usually chose the activities. Right next door to Jimmy, on the same busy street, was a vacant lot and on it a large walnut tree. It was fall now, and two things happened in the fall: the hard shelled walnuts on the tree fell to the ground, and the sun set earlier and so only the headlights of the cars could be seen as people travelled homeward.

Jimmy and Mike went to the vacant lot and someone (no one remembers just which boy) suggested the 'fun' activity of throwing the walnuts in front of the cars passing by to hear them bang against the front grill. After all, it didn't hurt anything and anyway, it was dark, and no one could see who was doing it. If a car slowed down, they could just run for the house next door. It never entered their little minds that the nuts could possibly break something. This was too much fun to think that far ahead.

So Jimmy and Mike began throwing walnuts into the car grills and hearing them bag. A few times a car would slow down and the two ran, only to see the car continue on down the dark street. After several minutes of this, one of the boys threw a walnut that made a different kind of sound. This time the car slowed to a stop so the boys ran for the house. Their fathers were upstairs so the boys ran for the security of their presence. But then a knock came at the door. Jimmy's father went down to answer it. When he returned, he was very upset. He told Jimmy that a walnut he or Mike threw had broken a window in the car and sprayed glass into the face of a baby! Fortunately the baby was not hurt, but Jimmy and Mike were about to be! After a well deserved spanking was given by each father to the education end of their lad, the boys were sent to bed.

It would be delightful to report to you that Jimmy and Mike learned their lesson and never did such a foolish thing again. But I can't. In fact, the next day, Jimmy's father caught him out in the same lot, throwing the same walnuts at cars in the broad daylight! Do you think he got another, even harder spanking? This was the end. He never did it again after that, and soon, that tree was removed (much to the delight of Jimmy's parents) and a house built there. But though the tree has been gone for many years, the lesson of that evening has stayed with Jimmy ever since. The one who covers his sin surely does NOT prosper! And, you ask, who am I to know? I'm Jimmy.