“It’s Not Fair!” Friend, June 2023, 20–21.
This story took place in Nigeria.
Ephraim ran as fast as he could. His heart pounded. Each step sent clouds of dust into the air. He reached his arm out. He was so close!
“You’re it!” Ephraim said as he tagged his brother, Uchenna, on the arm.
“Ephraim! Uchenna!” Mom called from the house. “Time to come in. We still have a lot of work to do.”
“Yes, Mom,” Ephraim said. He and Uchenna went inside.
Today was their younger sister Johanna’s birthday. They were having guests over for her birthday dinner. There was a lot to do.
Ephraim helped Mom make Johanna’s birthday cake. He liked to help Mom cook. Especially when they made cake.
Ephraim looked over at his brother and sister. Uchenna was working hard to clean the house. But Johanna wasn’t helping at all. She was just reading a book.
“Why isn’t Johanna helping?” Ephraim asked as he stirred the cake batter.
“It’s her birthday,” Mom said. “We’ll do all her work for her.”
“But that’s not fair! Johanna wouldn’t help me if it was my birthday.” Ephraim felt a little mad. He stirred the bowl faster, and bits of batter hit his face.
Then Ephraim grinned. He had an idea. He would make Johanna promise to help him on his birthday. If she didn’t promise, then Ephraim wouldn’t help today! Then it would be fair.
He told Mom about his plan. But she didn’t seem very happy about it.
“Remember to think about what Jesus would do,” she said.
Ephraim thought about Jesus. Jesus helped others, but He didn’t ask for anything back. Ephraim knew that Jesus wanted him to serve others, like He did.
“I think Jesus would want me to help Johanna without making her promise me anything,” Ephraim said.
“I think so too,” Mom said. She helped Ephraim pour the cake batter into the pan.
Mom put the cake into the oven. Then Ephraim helped Mom make meat pie for dinner. He was excited to have some.
Ephraim saw that Uchenna wasn’t cleaning anymore. He was playing a game with Johanna.
Ephraim felt mad again. Why was he the only one helping? Maybe he should get two pieces of the meat pie. And Johanna and Uchenna shouldn’t get any! It was only fair.
But Ephraim thought about Jesus again. Jesus would want all of us to have a piece, he thought.
Ephraim helped Mom finish dinner. He even helped set the table without being asked. He felt a lot happier. He knew that the Holy Ghost was telling him he had made the right choice.
When they all sat down to eat, they sang a birthday song to Johanna. Ephraim sang as loud as he could.
Mom cut the meat pie, and Ephraim quickly reached to grab some. But then he stopped.
“You can have the first piece,” he said to Johanna. “Happy birthday!”