The real Pearl necklace

Jenny was a bright-eyed, pretty five-year-old girl. 
One day when she and her mother were checking 
out at the grocery store, Jenny saw a plastic pearl 
necklace priced at $2.50. How she wanted that necklace, 

and when she asked her mother if she would buy it for her, 
her mother said, “Well, it is a pretty necklace, 
but it costs an awful lot of money. I’ll tell you what. 
I’ll buy you the necklace, and when we get home we 
can make up a list of chore that you can do to pay 
for the necklace. And don’t forget that for your birthday 
Grandma just might give you a whole dollar bill, too. 
Okay?” Jenny agreed, and her mother bought the 
pearl necklace for her. Jenny worked on her chores 
hard every day, 

and sure enough, her grandma gave her a brand new 
dollar bill for her birthday. Soon Jenny had paid off 
the pearls. How Jenny loved those pearls. She 
wore them everywhere. The only time she didn’t 
wear them was in the shower; her mother had 
told her that they would turn her neck green. 

Now Jenny had a very loving daddy. When Jenny 
went to bed, he would get up from his favorite chair 
every night and read Jenny her favorite story. 
One night when he finished the story, he said, 
“Jenny, do you love me?” “Oh yes, Daddy, you know 
I love you,” the little girl said. “Well, then, give me 
your pearls.” “Oh! Daddy, not my pearls!” Jenny said. 

“But you can have Rosie, my favorite doll.” A week later, 
her father once again asked Jenny after her story, 
“Do you love me?” “Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you.” 
“Well, then, give me your pearls.” Oh, Daddy, not my pearls! 
But you can have Ribbons, my toy horse. Do you remember 
her? She’s my favorite. Her hair is so soft, and you can 
play with it and braid it and everything. You can have 
Ribbons if you want her, Daddy,” the little girl said to 
her father. “No, that’s okay,” her father said and brushed 
her cheek again with a kiss. “God bless you, little one. 

Sweet dreams.” Several days later, when Jenny’s father 
came in to read her a story, Jenny was sitting on her bed 
and her lip was trembling. “Here, Daddy,” she said, 
and held out her hand. She opened it and her beloved 
pearl necklace was inside. She let it slip into her father’s hand. 

With one hand her father held the plastic pearls and with 
the other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box. 
Inside of the box were real, genuine, beautiful pearls. 
He had them all along. He was waiting for Jenny to 
give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the real thing. 
— Author unknown