Children’s Story About Point of View


I am many things all rolled into one. I am a teenager. I am a guy. I am an older brother. I am a younger brother. I am a basketball player, a straight A student, and a good son to my mother. I am a lover of video games. But I am not (by any stretch of the imagination) a thief.

You probably do not believe me. You probably think I’m lying. The reason I say this is that I am writing this from jail. That’s right. Two hours ago I was lying on a couch, watching reruns and eating a snack. And now I am in jail.

I don’t know why you would believe me. The policeman who arrested me didn’t believe me. The cop who took my fingerprints didn’t either. Even my little brother thinks I’m lying. But I’m not; I swear I’m not. Will you believe me? Or will you be like all the rest, and choose to call me a liar?

* * *

It all started with my little brother, Julius. He was hungry and he wanted to get out of the house. By comparison, I was tired and cranky from a long day of school. All I wanted to do was stay at home and relax. But my little brother was hungry, what could I do? I grabbed my coat. Together we trudged down the sidewalk to the pizza place.

If this story was just about me, there wouldn’t be much to tell. I would have loaded up my two slices with cheese and peppers and been on my way. But Julius is eight, and he can’t keep still for two minutes. He started running and skipping this way and that. I stayed in the middle of the sidewalk, but he went every which way.

And then he stopped. He stopped and stared. I was going to ask him what was wrong, when I saw it too. Right there, one somebody’s porch, was a brilliant diamond watch. It must have cost at least $1000.

Now, I know the right thing to do would have been to turn it in. I wanted to; I really did. But I have to confess that what I was really thinking about was what I could do with $1,000. I pictured myself playing PS2 all day long, with gamed piled up to the ceiling. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t help it.

But before I could do or say anything, Julius starts grabbing for the watch. I can see that’s going to be trouble. “Don’t touch it!” I yell, but that just makes him reach for it quicker. He grabs it and he’d dancing around like he just won the Super Bowl.

And then, my idiot of a brother does something really stupid. He falls down. When he lands, he lands hard on a trashcan. It makes a sound loud enough to wake up my near deaf grandmother in the middle of the night.

Quick as anything, a light turns on in the house. Just as quickly, a man comes running out. It takes him all of a second to figure out what’s going on. He sees me, my brother, and the watch and he starts screaming his head off. “Thief!” he yells.

I would have been out of there quicker than you can say, “Where are you going?” if he hadn’t had a rifle in the other hand. He holds it out in front, and tells us to pass him the watch. It belongs to his wife, he says.

I’m about to, and then I notice that the rifle doesn’t look right. I look again, and I see it’s just a broomstick. It was dark, and the way he held it made it look like a rifle. My first thought is for my brother. I gather all the air in my lungs and scream, “Run!”

He does, but before he does that he tosses the watch into the air. Why he does this, I’ll always wonder. I should have been running too, but I’m just watching the watch fly through the night sky. I catch it with my open hand, and look at the shiny thing.

Of course, I’m so busy looking at the watch that I don’t feel the crack on my head from the broom handle. It knocks me out cold. The next thing I know, I’m in a jail cell, being charged for theft.

All because of my little brother.


I’ll bet you a million dollars that Julius is singing some song about how it’s all my fault and I’m the reason he’s in jail. Let me tell you something: he’s my older brother. That’s right. Older, by about five years. I didn’t make him do a thing that night. He did it all on his own.

First of all, I bet he says I was the one who wanted to go get some pizza. You believe that? He’s the one who was hungry. He comes downstairs and says to me. “I’m going to get some pizza and you’re coming.” I start to protest, but he looks at me hard and says, “I’m going to pound on you until you agree.” Well that settled it right there.

So off we go. Todd’s right that I was dancing all over the place, and he’s right that I was the one who first saw the watch, but so what? Is it a crime to like to dance? Is it a crime to see a watch? When you turn on the television and watch me in my own dance video, you’ll understand why I dance so much.

Anyway, we’re just looking at the watch. I’m not thinking of stealing it: I’m just trying to figure out whose it is. Seriously, I didn’t know. Todd says I knew all along that it belonged to the guy who lived in that house, but I didn’t know that. I’m not like him. I don’t get all A’s.

Todd sees me looking and he grins this huge grin. Then he turns to me and says two words that change our lives. He says, “Touch it.”

I’m serious. Do you honestly think I would have touched it if he hadn’t told me to? I thought maybe he had good intentions. Maybe we were going to go find the rightful owner and return it. Maybe we were going to knock on the door and ask them if we lost the watch. I didn’t know what he was thinking. I just did what he said.

I’m standing there, just holding the watch and he tried to grab it out of my hand. I pull back because I’m not ready for him to take it. He pushed me over! He’s really angry and he just pushes me over.

It was him pushing me, and not my dancing, that woke up the old man. He comes running out of his house, screaming bloody murder and pointing some kind of stick at us. I’ve never been so scared in my life.

I just wanted the whole ordeal to be over. When he started screaming, I held out the watch and closed my eyes. I just wanted top be able to open my eyes and see that everything had disappeared. The next thing I know, the watch is being snatched out of my hands.

I breathed a big sigh of relief. I expected to see the old man walking back into his house. But it wasn’t the old man who had snatched the watch. When I opened my eyes, I saw that Julius was holding the watch. He had snatched it out of my hands for his own purposes.

So I ran. What else could I have done? I got out of there as quick as I could. I know my brother’s in jail, and I do feel bad for him, but honestly, he got what he deserved.


Yes, I bought the watch. It was supposed to be a present for my wife on our fortieth wedding anniversary. You must be thinking that I’m pretty stupid for leaving a watch like that on the front step. And you’d be mostly right. It was pretty absent-minded of me.

See, I had it all planned out. I was going to make dinner for my wife and then give her the watch. I went out, picked up the watch, then I bought groceries. Chicken, green beans, potatoes, wine, with apple pie for dessert. I guess I got too much. As I was coming in the front door, I must have dropped the watch.

I know those two boys say they stumbled upon the watch. There’s no other way to put it, that just isn’t true. How do I know? Because I had the watch wrapped. It was a present. So, maybe they did find the watch accidentally. But one of them had to have removed the wrapping paper on purpose.

I was asleep in my own bed, minding my own business when I heard this noise. I didn’t know what it was, so I thought I’d go outside and see. I didn’t bring a broom handle, though. I brought my cane.

I didn’t come running or screaming outside either. I just opened the door. I didn’t say anything, or scream, or threaten anyone. I just stood there.

It took a minute or two for my eyes to get accustomed to the light. When they did, and I saw they had my watch, I started to get mad. I had paid good money for that watch! The anniversary dinner had been ruined. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew it was my wife’s watch.

So I asked for it back. Sure, I was mad, but I didn’t let it get to me. I just stayed calm, held out my hand, and asked them for the watch. The little one handed it to the big one and took off running. The big one tried to run too.

He’ll probably say I bopped him on the head or something. That’s nothing but a bald faced lie. He took one look at me and fainted. I guess he realized the kind of trouble he was in. To tell the truth, it was a little funny. I might have laughed, if I wasn’t so worked up over the watch.

So why’d he make up a story that I hit him over the head? He was embarrassed, that’s why. He doesn’t want people knowing that he fainted at the sight of an old man, so he made up a story.

As for me, I’m just happy I got my wife’s watch back. I’m sure she’d going to love it. Yeah, I’ll feel bad about that boy going to jail. I don’t think he’s a thief, exactly. But hey, you got to live with the decisions you make.

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