Grumpy Neighbors & Chocolate Cupcakes

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Lesson 95

“It’s yours, Justin, kick it!” shouted Jeremy.

Justin gave the soccer ball a huge kick—zooop! It sailed out of Jeremy’s front yard and landed across the street then rolled down the sidewalk.

“Oh no!” Jeremy moaned. “It’s over by Mr. Feester’s mailbox.”

“Uh oh, he doesn’t like kids. You think he’ll get mad?” asked Justin.

“I don’t know. Guess I better go get it before he sees it.” Jeremy tiptoed along the sidewalk and bent down to pick up the soccer ball. Suddenly, he heard a door creak loudly—creeeek! Jeremy looked up and saw his neighbor standing on the porch. Mr. Feester lifted up his cane and shook it at Jeremy.

“You get out of here!” the man yelled. “I’ve told you kids before, no trespassin’ in my yard!”

Jeremy grabbed the ball and ran back home. Justin was waiting for him in the front yard. “Wow, Jeremy, I could hear him shouting all the way over here,” Justin remarked.

“Yeah, but I got the ball back anyway.” Jeremy gave it a little toss. “I guess we better play in the backyard from now on.”

Later during dinner, Justin told his parents what had happened. “And then he shouted at Jeremy. It was like he couldn’t see that Jeremy was only getting his ball. I don’t like Mr. Feester,” said Justin grumpily.

“That doesn’t sound very friendly,” said Justin’s dad. “Especially when you don’t even know the man. I’ve gotten to know him a little. He’s actually very nice.”

“I’ve talked with him, too,” said Mom. “He said some kids threw trash in his yard. Maybe that’s why he got upset.”

“Really?” Justin put his fork down and thought for a minute. “Maybe he needs someone to be nice to him instead of scared of him.”

“Be nice to Mister Feester,” chattered Ellie, Justin’s little sister, as she played with the carrots on her plate.

“Maybe you can show him some kindness, even if he is a bit grumpy,” Mom suggested.

Ellie finished her carrots and pointed at the dessert plate on the table. “I want cupcake, please!”

“Hey, Dad!” said Justin jumping up to grab the dessert plate. “How about if I make some cupcakes then you can give them to Mr. Feester, since you know him.”

“Or,” Mom chimed in, “I can make some cupcakes then you and Jessie can decorate and deliver them.”

“Uh . . . okay.” Justin gulped. He wasn’t too sure he wanted to get that close to Mr. Feester after hearing him shout at Jeremy. “I guess I could do that.”

The next day, Justin invited Jessie to help him decorate some freshly baked cupcakes. Justin explained why he thought they should do something nice for the older man across the street.

“That sounds like a good idea,” said Jessie. “I’m a little scared of him, but I’ll go with you.”

When the cupcakes were ready, Justin and Jessie clutched their plates full of cupcakes as they shuffled up the sidewalk to Mr. Feester’s front porch. “Ring the doorbell, Jessie,” Justin whispered.

Jessie looked at Justin in alarm. “No! You ring it.”

Justin’s hand trembled as he reached toward the doorbell. Suddenly they heard a loud creeeek and the door opened in front of them.

An old, bald man towered over the kids and peered down at them. “Who are you, and what do you want?” he asked with a sour look.

Justin and Jessie were speechless. Neither one of them could think of what to say. Finally, Jessie spoke. “Um,” she said nervously, “I’m Jessie, and he’s Justin, and these are for you.” She held out her plate of cupcakes.

“Oh, really? I can’t find my glasses, but I think I smell chocolate.” The old man shuffled over to a chair on the porch and sat down. “Come closer and let me see what you’ve got there.”

The kids looked at each other in surprise and stepped closer to Mr. Feester. He took the plate from Jessie and squinted at the cupcakes. “You can have one,” Jessie offered.

“Why, thank you, little lady. They smell awfully good, but I can’t tell what they are without my glasses.”

“You mean, you can’t see anything without your glasses?”

“Nope. Mmm. These are delicious,” said Mr. Feester, licking frosting off his lips. “I haven’t had a cupcake in years.”

Soon, the kids realized they weren’t afraid anymore. They chatted with their new friend as he munched on the yummy cakes. Justin told Mr. Feester how his parents knew him and explained what Jeremy was doing in his yard the day before.

“Was that your friend?” Mr. Feester asked. “I thought he was one of those kids coming back to throw more trash in my yard.”

“Is that why you shouted at him—’cause you couldn’t see him very well?”

“Yep. I couldn’t tell what he was doing without my glasses.”

Suddenly, Justin saw something sticking up beside the cushion in his chair. He reached down and pulled out—a pair of glasses! “Look what I found!” he exclaimed.

“Well, how about that!” Mr. Feester put the glasses on and smiled at Justin and Jessie. “Oh! It’s you kids. I’ve seen you before, just never knew how kind you were.”

“Maybe we can come by again sometime,” Jessie suggested as she and Justin turned to go.

“Certainly! Especially if you bring more scrumptious cupcakes,” the man said with a wink. He picked up another little cake and popped the whole thing in his mouth as he waved goodbye to his new friends.

A Fun Part of Answers Bible Curriculum

Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.