Donna was excited. She and her cousin Judy were on their way to Aunt Pat’s house. Donna and Judy always had fun playing together.
It was dark outside, but there was enough moonlight to see by. Donna and Judy walked along the country road, laughing and joking with each other. Suddenly, they realized they were in front of Mr. Cook’s apple orchard.
The apples on Mr. Cook’s trees were big and red, and they looked delicious. Donna looked at Judy and realized they both had the same idea.
“Mr. Cook wouldn’t miss a couple of apples,” Donna said. But as she looked at the sharp pieces of the barbed-wire fence surrounding the orchard, it seemed they were prodding her already. A thought came to her: “He is your neighbor, Donna. Are you going to steal from him?”
Donna pushed the feeling aside. It would be fun. And besides, Mr. Cook had hundreds of apples.
She carefully climbed between the wires of the fence and helped Judy through. They crept into the orchard and picked a few of the shiny apples.
“OK, let’s go,” Judy said, motioning for Donna to follow her.
Suddenly, Mr. Cook’s dogs began barking. Someone turned on the porch light, and the girls heard quick footsteps.
“Run!” Donna hissed, clutching the apples in her arms.
When they reached the fence, Judy slipped through easily. But Donna was still holding the fruit and couldn’t get through the tight wires.
As she looked behind her and saw Mr. Cook’s dogs, Donna dropped the apples and squeezed through the fence. She heard a loud ripping noise and felt a sharp pain in her leg. Donna heard Judy gasp as she reached to pull her out of the wires. Donna had ripped her pants, and blood was running from a deep gash in her leg.
As Donna looked at the wound, she felt ashamed. She knew she shouldn’t have tried to steal Mr. Cook’s apples. She also knew she would have to tell Mom what had happened, as well as Mr. Cook.
When Donna got home she told Mom the whole story. Mom was silent as she washed Donna’s leg and put on a bandage.
“Donna, you know it is wrong to take something that isn’t yours,” Mom finally said. “It would have been wrong even if you hadn’t gotten caught stealing.”
Donna nodded as tears filled her eyes. “I’m sorry, Mom,” she said. “I won’t do it again. I’m going to go apologize to Mr. Cook.”
Mom gave Donna a hug. Donna thought about the feelings she had before she and Judy went into the orchard. “That was the Holy Ghost,” she realized.
As Donna said her prayers that night, she thanked Heavenly Father that she had felt the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
“Next time,” she thought, “I’ll listen.”