The Boy Who Lost His Watch
(Story Number One in the “Tate and Sammy” Series)
It had been a very special birthday present because it meant that Abe was growing up. His very own watch! Just like the grown-ups, just like Mom and Dad! Abe was so proud that he showed the watch to everyone. He showed it to his teacher. He showed it to the crossing guard on his way to school. He showed it to the postman. He showed it to the minister at his church and his Sunday School teacher. Abe was very proud of his new watch.
Each night, before Abe went to sleep, he carefully placed his watch on the little table beside his bed. The face of the watch would glow in the dark just like a firefly! Sometimes when Abe would wake up in the middle of the night he would stare at the pretty green dial until he fell fast asleep again. His very own watch!
When Abe would wake up he couldn’t wait to put his new watch on and fasten the little leather band on his wrist. He was always very careful to make sure it was on securely so he wouldn’t lose it.
Abe’s Dad had told him to make sure and put the watch in his pocket if he was playing so it wouldn’t accidentally come off or get broken. This was very hard to do for Abe because there were so many people he wanted to show the watch to and they couldn’t see it if it was in his pocket!
Abe decided that he would just be really, really careful when he played and then the watch would be OK. After all he was a lot more grown up now and he was sure he could take good care of it without having to take it off.
Abe really looked forward to Saturday because some of his friends would go to the park and play catch. Abe was a very good player and could throw the ball farther than any of the other boys his age. Sometimes he would throw the ball so hard it would go way over their heads and they would have to chase it. He was that strong!
Abe was playing catch with his friend Marty that Saturday and Marty had to move farther and farther back because Abe was really throwing the ball hard. After all, he was a lot more grown up since his birthday, and stronger too! They played catch for a long time until they got hungry and then they decided to walk back to Abe’s house for a sandwich.
As they were walking Abe glanced down at his wrist to see what time it was. What he saw, or actually didn’t see, was his watch!!! It was gone! He hollered “Oh no”! “Marty my watch is missing”!!!
The two boys looked around where they were standing but the watch wasn’t anywhere to be seen. They tried to remember the exact route they had taken leaving the park and retraced their steps. They walked and they looked and they walked and they looked but couldn’t see the watch anywhere.
Finally they were back at the park where they had been playing catch and they looked and looked everywhere they could remember having been. They stopped everyone they saw and asked if they had found a watch but no one had.
Abe was getting really scared that he had lost his new watch for good. He remembered what his father had told him about taking it off when he played and all of a sudden he didn’t feel so grown up anymore. If only he would have put the watch in his pocket!
Even though their stomachs were growling with hunger the two boys kept looking. They looked all through the grass and even in the trash cans, yuck!!! But no watch. Finally Marty had to go home and Abe watched him sadly as he walked away. Somehow it hadn’t been as bad with his friend there but now he was alone.
Abe looked and looked, covering the same area over and over hoping he had just missed seeing it in the grass. Abe heard his name being called and he looked up to see his Dad walking towards him. “Oh no!!!” He was late getting home and now he was in real trouble AND he had lost his watch!
Abe’s Dad walked up and said “Son, don’t you realize how late it is? What are you doing out here all alone?” Abe just hung his head. He couldn’t bear to tell his Dad what he had done. When Abe didn’t answer him, his Dad knew that something was wrong. “Abe, what is the matter”? He heard his Dad ask.
Abe’s head just drooped lower and he finally mumbled “I’m sorry Dad I lost my watch. I was playing catch and I didn’t put it in my pocket.” There was a long silence and Abe finally looked up at his Dad. “Abe it is getting too dark to look for your watch now. We have to go home. Maybe we can find it tomorrow after church.”
It was a long silent walk back to his house with his Dad and Abe had plenty of time to think about what he had done. He wished he really was as grown up as he had thought when he got that watch for his birthday. Now it was gone.
His Sunday School lesson the next day was about “pride”. Abe’s teacher asked the class if they knew what “Pride cometh before the fall” meant. Abe knew what it meant and he told the class his story about how proud he had been of his watch and how he was too proud to put it in his pocket and had lost it at the park. He knew that his pride at being able to throw the ball so hard had probably caused his watch to come off too. He told the other kids how feeling more grown up had convinced him that he didn’t have to listen to his father’s advice.
When he was finished talking one of his friend’s said “Hey why don’t we all go look for Abe’s watch after church!!!” The other kids all yelled “Yay!!” And Abe’s Sunday School teacher agreed to go with the class to the park that afternoon if their parents were OK with it.
When Abe and his parents arrived at the park his whole class was there plus some of their parents and even some older kids from the church. Abe explained where he and Marty had been playing and everyone spread out looking for Abe’s watch.
They looked and they looked and they turned over leaves and looked under things but no watch! Abe was getting worried that someone else had already found the watch and kept it.
Two of his friends were looking under a bush when a squirrel jumped out of it and ran across the grass and up into a big oak tree. As the squirrel climbed out onto a limb and chattered down at them one of the boys yelled “Hey look” “Up in the tree”!!!
Everyone came running over to the oak tree to see what the shouting was all about. And there, caught in the branches of the tree limb was Abe’s watch! All the kids jumped up and down and yelled and Abe just stood there looking up at his beautiful watch. One of the older boys climbed up in the tree and unhooked Abe’s watch from the branches. When he got down he handed Abe the watch and Abe thanked him and he thanked everyone for coming out and helping find his watch
On their way home Abe told his parents he was sorry that he had not listened and he told them he would take better care of his watch in the future. His father smiled down at Abe, patted him on the shoulder, and told him that it looked like he was really growing up after all.