It Runs in the Genes

by Sue Bunker

Brady eyed the all new Titanium Superman action figure as if it were the holy grail of all the toys in the entire universe. He had never seen such splendour in design in anything else.

I just have to get this, thought Brady to himself as he ran home.

Once he reached home, he searched for his mother. Of his parents, Brady knew his mother was more inclined towards him, and he sought to take advantage of this. He frantically searched the house, before finding his mother in the kitchen, washing the dishes. One look at his mother, and Brady felt sorry for asking something of her. His mothers face looked both tired and serious. Still he managed the courage to speak.

Mom, I know Halloween isnt until next month but there is this new Superman in Uncle Jeffreys store...

His mother immediately shot one disapproving look at him and he knew the answer even before his mother started.

Brady, you know we just did the house repairs and plus you already have so many toys. Your superman can wait a few more months. I dont expect to hear of this again anytime soon. And why are you out at Uncle Jeffreys? Did you finish your homework yet?

Brady muttered something incoherent and slipped out immediately. Outside in the garden, his emotions were as clear as day. He was crestfallen. He wanted the superman badly, and he couldnt find a way to get it. Suddenly he remembered the bunch of rings his mother kept in one of her purses. She was an avid ring collector, and all those close to her knew about her unusual hobby.

He silently ran up to the bedroom, and rummaged through the cupboard. Finally he found it. It was an old maroon coloured and gold lined medium sized purse that his grandmother had given to his mother. He slowly opened the zipper, and found his treasure. Inside it were around a hundred different rings of various shapes and sizes. The sheer variety and quality of the rings would put even a ring museum to shame.

Brady picked out the biggest shiny one and was about to close the zipper, when the reality of his actions hit him. He was actually stealing. No matter how small, no matter how insignificant, but he was still stealing. His parents had taught him moral values early on and that had led to his conscience being provoked.

No, I cant do this. This is wrong, He thought to himself. His mother hadnt brought him up to be a thief. But just as suddenly, he again thought to himself, but this is just one ring. Mom doesnt need all these stuff anymore. I bet if I pawn just this ring, I can get enough money. She wouldnt even notice in a hundred years. Ill just buy one ring like this later and replace it.

Brady still wasnt sure what to do. His mind was just as clouded now as it was clear when he opened the purse. With one final mental push, he dismissed all his thoughts, took the ring in his fist, closed the zipper, and ran out of the house towards the town pawn shop.

Jim Falton listened to the radio leisurely, as Brady opened the squeaky door of his pawnshop and made his way inside. He propped himself up on the chair in front of the counter.

Uncle Jim, I have something to trade

You do? Jim answered smilingly and half amused. It wasnt everyday a ten year old came into his shop looking to pawn something off.

Yes, a ring, a nice one

You sure your mother allowed you to come all by yourself?

Yes...she did, replied Brady, a little nervous now.

Okay then, lets have it

Jim immediately opened his fist and dropped the shiny blue pearl studded ring on the counter.

Jim was amazed on how Brady had managed to get his hands on something that looked a bit expensive at the very least. Then he took another look. His expression immediately changed.

Brady, how did you get your hands on this?

Brady became a bit uneasy now. He didnt expect to be interrogated like this.

Well, uh, its my mothers. She has lots and she didnt want this anymore.

Jim stood straight, picked up the ring, and looked at it as if it were some long lost antique.

Are you sure its your mothers? he asked finally, after what seemed like an eternity to Brady.

Yes

Jim said nothing more, picked up the phone and dialled a number. The voice on the other end seemed familiar to Brady. It was his mothers.

Elaine, I know about your hobby but I never took you for a thief. Guess what I have in my hands now, my long lost family ring.

There was no answer on the other end. Jim didnt have to worry about his stealing anymore. By the look on Uncle Jims face, he was sure his mother just outranked him.

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