A Rock Improved My Life Photo of Garnet.

Garnet Hunt White
© Copyright 1998 by Garnet Hunt White

A unique rock made me stop looking at the bad points in those around me. This special stone helped create a better me.

For my tenth birthday, Mother gave a birthday party for me in our yard. I had invited all of my fourth grade classmates to come to my home on Saturday afternoon. Mother had provided worlds of cupcakes and ice cream and each of us stuffed ourselves.

When Papa came home at 5:30, he handed me a box with my gift.

Smiling, I hurried and opened the box. I frowned. My heart seemed to drop into my stomach. I laid the box on the table. An old ugly round rock lay in the box.

"Pick it up," Papa said.

I started to pick it up but it was in two pieces. The top half came off the bottom.

"Oh! How pretty." I yelled and then asked. "What is it?"

"It's a geode." Papa said. "This was once a round ugly rock, but when cut in two pieces, it shows the magnificent crystals inside."

I admired the two halves with the sparkling crystals.

That night, when we were eating, Papa asked, "Were all the fourth graders here?"

"Yes," I said. "All except Sour Sara."

"Sour Sara!" Mother and Papa said at once. Then they asked, "Why do you call her 'Sour'?"

"All the kids call her that." I scrummed. "Her mouth looks like this." I stretched my mouth across my face. "She's ugly."

"How does she act?" Mother asked. "Is she good?"

"She brought me a cookie that her mother made." I said. "It tasted good."

"She has a kind heart." Papa said. "It's better to be good on the inside than pretty on the outside."

"Those kids who call her 'Sour' may be pretty on the outside," Mother pointed her finger at me. "But they're ugly on the inside."

"Do you call her 'Sour'?" Papa asked.

I looked downward in shame. "I'll not anymore."

Mother brought in a plate of cupcakes and said, "We have cupcakes, galore. They're left from the party."

I toyed with my cake. "Could I take So-- Sara some cakes tomorrow?"

My parents looked at me, then Mother said, "I'll fix a box of them and she can take them home with her."

"I'm proud of you." Papa patted me on the hand, then asked, "Why don't we take them over to her home tonight?"

After we returned from Sara's house that night, I kept thinking about her and her family. They appreciated the box of cupcakes.

To show their gratefulness Sara's mother gave each of us a large apple. Sara gave me a cup with a rose on it for my birthday.

I didn't sleep much that night. I re-ran the day's events over and over in my mind.

The next morning at breakfast, I said to my parents, "I'm taking my geode to school today."

"Oh no, you're not." Papa said. "You might drop it on some kid's foot."

"No." Mother said. "It's too valuable. You might get it broken. Why in the world would you want to take it?"

"I'll show and tell the kids how something ugly on the outside can be beautiful on the inside." I said. "Maybe they'll know that's the way Sara is."

Mother looked at Papa. Papa looked at Mother. They looked at me.

"I'll get a tote bag for you to carry it." Mother said.

"I'll drive you to school and see that you get to your classroom safely with the goede." Papa said.

Beginning with my tenth birthday, I have tried to discover the beauty inside people's heart, regardless, if they are pretty or homely on the outside.. Like the geode, what is important is the beauty on the inside.

Sara and I became close schoolmates from that day on. Through our adult years, we have become special friends to each other.

Today, my china cabinet holds the geode my father presented to me. Beside it sets the cup Sara gave to me when we were fourth graders.

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