Inside Story: The Stolen Watermelon

Mpo [m’POH] and Tendai [TEN-dai],* live in Zambia. One day they were hot and thirsty after playing. They sat down in the shade to rest. Then Mpo jumped up. “There’s a b-i-g watermelon growing in a field near here. Let’s go get it!”

Picture courtesy of GC Office of Adventist Mission

Picture courtesy of GC Office of Adventist Mission

The two boys set off toward the field. “Mpo ran ahead and grabbed the watermelon from the vine and raced toward the bushes. Tendai followed his friend. He wanted to ask permission to eat the watermelon before taking it, but when he reached his friend, Mpo had already broken the watermelon open. The sight of the juicy melon made Tendai’s mouth water. He scooped up a piece of melon and ate it. Soon the boys had eaten the entire watermelon. They sat back, full and satisfied.

It was getting late, and Tendai hurried home. When he arrived home, his mother said, “Dinner is almost ready.”

“I’m not hungry,” Tendai said. “I ate with Mpo.”

Mother frowned. “OK,” she said. “Then do your chores and come inside for worship.”

After worship, Tendai lay down on his straw mat and fell asleep. He dreamed that his family went to heaven, but he couldn’t enter because he had stolen the watermelon. He awoke with a start, crying. The next night and the next he had the same dream. He awoke the third morning knowing that he must tell his mother about the stolen watermelon.

“We must tell the farmer whose watermelon you stole,” Mother said. Mother and Tendai walked to the farmer’s house. Tendai confessed that he and his friend had stolen the watermelon. “It was wrong,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

The farmer nodded. “It was wrong to take the watermelon. Now I must buy another one. Do you have the money to pay for a watermelon?”

Tendai shook his head.

“Then you will work to pay for the watermelon,” the farmer said. Mother nodded at Tendai. “I need a new rubbish pit. I’ll show you where to dig it.” Tendai took the man’s shovel and followed him to a field. He began digging. It was hard work, and the sun was hot on his back. But he kept digging until the rubbish pit was done. Then he gathered the rubbish from the land around the pit.

Now when Tendai is tempted to do something wrong, he remembers the hot sun beating on his back as he dug the rubbish pit. He remembers his dreams, too, and he turns away from temptation, for he doesn’t want to miss out on heaven.

*Not their real names. This story was told to Mission by Mirriam Kashweka.



Inside Story: The Stolen Watermelon — 8 Comments

    • I did the same ,when my son stole some candy while we were in a store. I went back with him and he apologized and returned the candy. And I never had this problem again. We prayed about this ,when we had home worship and when we went to church and I told the Pastor.

  1. It is pleasant when parent, child/ren, and others can work together to resolve problems.The child did that which was wrong, the parent did not cover up the issue but allowed the child to confess and repay. What a lesson for us to pattern.

  2. If parent(s) or family members were doing what this mother did, we would have a better society and world. God bless persons who stand for the right.

    • We as parents and people who are living in this age we should do the same! Again as Christians, it is our obligation to do so. If we have never did it before, let us start today-the change starts with You/with me!

  3. It was has reminded me a day when our goats went into our aunts garden and ate some of her cassava plantation when taking them back home. In exchange of my carelessness, my mother told me to wed all field such that next time their will be no grass for goat.

  4. We often sin against God, repent and He forgives us. But remember there's a payback time for whatever we do.


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