“Beeline to the Truth,” Friend, Jan. 2012, 44–45
It was a warm summer morning as Josh followed his dad into the hardware store. Outside, bees hummed and sprinklers hissed, but inside everything was cool and quiet. Josh stood at the window and watched a bee bump against the glass.
Then something on a shelf caught his eye—a pocketknife gleaming in the sunlight near the window. Josh was sure he could use a knife like that for all sorts of things. But he didn’t ask Dad if he could buy it. He already knew what Dad would say: “You should wait until you’re a Boy Scout to get a pocketknife.” Josh didn’t want to wait until then. He wanted a pocketknife right now.
Josh looked over his shoulder. Dad was busy paying the cashier for some work gloves. Josh snatched the knife and put it in his pocket.
“Ready to go?” Dad asked.
Josh followed Dad to the car, his heart thumping like the bee against the window. As they drove away, Josh smiled. No one had noticed! The knife was his.
So why did it feel like a heavy rock in his pocket?
By the time Josh got home, he felt like he had a rock in his stomach too. Josh went to his room and took out the knife. It didn’t seem to gleam anymore. Josh tried to imagine what kinds of things he’d use it for, but he couldn’t think of any. Besides, if he took the knife out of his room, Dad might see it.
Josh felt anxious all day. The knife’s weight in his pocket kept reminding him of the wrong choice he had made. He had to get rid of it.
“Can I ride my bike?” he asked Mom.
“Yes, just be home in time for dinner,” Mom said.
Josh hurried to get his bicycle from the garage and pedaled onto the sidewalk.
“Hey, Josh! Where are you going?” Josh’s brother Tanner called from his friend Chris’s yard.
Josh didn’t slow down. He raced to the end of the street, where a brick wall was built into a hillside. Josh found a crack between the bricks and stuffed the pocketknife into the dark hole. No one would know what he’d done. Now he could forget about it too.
A few hours later, Tanner and Chris burst into the house. “Look what we found!” Tanner held up the pocketknife.
Josh tried not to look guilty. “Where did you get that?” he asked.
“We followed a bee,” Tanner said.
“You followed a bee?” Mom repeated.
“We were bored,” Tanner said. “We chased the bee to the end of the street. It crawled into a hole in the brick wall, and that’s where the pocketknife was.”
Josh felt sick. Even though he’d hidden the knife, Heavenly Father knew where it was. He went to his room and counted the dollar bills in his wallet. Then he prayed for the courage to tell the truth. When he got up from his knees, the anxiousness in his mind quieted. He felt a little nervous about telling his parents and the cashier at the hardware store what he had done, but he felt lighter than he had all day—like a bee zipping over the rooftops toward home.