The Toy by PhilipCatshill
Michael's dad said, "We don't want toys cluttering up the house. Boys don't need toys."
Michael's dad had a temper, so, as often as he could, Michael kept out of the way. Michael took himself off on adventures. He'd climb a tree, tunnel through the bracken, or sometimes, just sit at the side of the pond, watching the occasional ripple as a perch or roach broke the surface.
Peter's dad bought Peter every toy imaginable. Peter had a train set, a cowboy outfit, a bike, a pedal car, and a soldier doll with grenades on his belt and a knife at his side. That toy soldier with his plastic knife set Michael to thinking. With the kitchen carver in his hand, he wondered how much happier his life might be, if he could just have Peter's dad instead of his own.
After the funerals, Peter's dad collected Peter's toys one by one, and with tears on his cheeks, he gave them all away.
No one tells Michael to go outside anymore.
No one lets Michael go outside anymore.
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