Rocks in My Pocket
By Angela Carling
One day Malcolm was very angry with his neighbor Mr. Gump. Mr. Gump had yelled at him in front of the whole neighborhood. He was afraid that the next day he might forget to be angry with Mr. Gump so he put a rock in his pocket to remind him.
As Malcolm grew, other people made him angry. Every time he got angry, he put another rock in his pocket to help him remember to stay angry.
After awhile the pockets in his pants became heavy, he had to start wearing a long overcoat with extra pockets sewn into it. His clothes became so full of dusty rocks that he left a little cloud of dust wherever he went. When he couldn’t carry around any more rocks he started keeping them at home.
As Malcolm grew so did his rock collection. When he was all grown up he bought a large house to keep his rocks in.
Rocks of all colors sat on shelves that lined the walls of his garage. Groups of rocks large and small were organized into piles in the front of his house.
Some rocks sat on top of his kitchen cupboards staring down at him with their angry eyes. He even had small, sharp rocks in his bedroom right next to his bed.
Finally, his rock collection got so big that it became famous in his community. Some people even knew why he collected the rocks.
One day a teacher from a local elementary school called Malcolm. He’d heard about Malcolm’s rock collection and wanted to bring his class to see it. Malcolm was excited! Finally, someone would understand why he had collected rocks all those years.
When the students arrived, Malcolm expected them to ooh and ahh at his collection. Instead, there was an uncomfortable silence as the class looked around. The teacher broke the silence by picking up a small piece of granite that sat on Malcolm’s front porch.
“Why did you pick up this one?” He asked.Malcolm thought about it. “Was that rock from the cab driver who passed him by or maybe the Mail Carrier that delivered the wrong mail to his house. So many people made him mad. He couldn’t remember why he had picked up that particular rock.
Because Malcolm didn’t answer right away one little boy raised his hand to ask him a another question.
Malcolm looked wearily at the little boy and said “what”.
“Where is your other collection?” The boy asked innocently.
“What other collection?” Malcolm responded.
“The one where you picked up a rock every time someone did something nice for you.” The child replied.
Malcolm looked at the ground. Suddenly he felt ashamed. He realized he was a very unhappy person with nothing but a rock collection for company.
The very next week Malcolm rented a huge moving truck to come and take away all of his rocks. A little at a time he began replacing them with beautiful plants and flowers.
The neighbors couldn’t explain his new gardening habit, but one neighbor remembered him planting some daisies after she brought him a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.