I believe that all greed eventually ends with a good, hard, kick in the butt.
Six year olds are often disappointed by their obscure fantasies, like those of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but this was different, this was profound. That bitter moment of realization has stamped itself into my mind and I know that I will never be rid of it.
My cousins and I had been playing in the sand box, pouring the same sand through our little plastic sifters over and over again trying to make it baby-skin soft so we could sell it to the other kids. That was when we saw it. The bright green bush littered with perfect, crimson strawberries. While we inspected the berries, trying to make our first choices, we couldn’t help but notice it; the biggest berry in the world. It had to be at least a thousand times bigger than any berry my eyes had ever seen. It was perfectly plump and looked to be dripping in sweet, delicious juices; I had to have it, but so did my cousins.
I got to it first, pushing my cousins’ small hands away as I dove for it. I won that precious berry, my rather plump trophy.
I squeezed it into my small mouth with all the speed of a Bunn Coffee Maker, before my cousins could snatch it from me, and expected to taste the fruits of my victory. Instead, I tasted slightly rotten berry skin, and felt my teeth run into, not the berry, but each other.
The strawberry was hollow.
I was absolutely devastated. The product of my quick feet, of my nimble fingers, of my greed, had bested me. I had been rewarded for my great venture with a scolding, not from my mom or my dad, but from a strawberry.
I learned a lesson that day, one that I could never forget, and I now strongly believe that all greed eventually ends with a good, hard, kick in the butt.