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The Toy Offering

Amanda Harper, Arkansas, USA
September 2000

My grandfather's business partner passed away after a long illness. My grandparent's were quite upset, so I decided to accompany them to the funeral service.

At the internment, I noticed a nearby grave. It had one of those temporary plastic grave markers with no name. It also had about a dozen little Hot Wheel cars scattered around the marker. It really upset me because I have two young sons who love Hot Wheels. The only thing that I could think about was the fact that a little boy or girl much like one of my own had died, and left behind people who loved him. I showed the place to my grandmother, who cried with me.

Two days later, my oldest son, who was three years old handed me a rusty Hot Wheel exactly like one of the cars at the grave and asked "Mommy, where did this come from?" I took the car from him to examine it more closely. It was encrusted with dirt and faded as if it had been out in the weather for a couple of years. As I held the car, I had this feeling of peace come over me, and I heard a voice in my head say "I promise I won't hurt them, I just want to play". I told my son that I wasn't sure where the car had come from, and to go play with his other Hot Wheels. I placed the car on top of my entertainment system. A few minutes later, I heard my son laughing and talking with someone.

The next day, after arriving home from work, I noticed that the car was gone. I called my grandmother and we drove out to the cemetery.

At the grave, everything was just like it had been before, with the exception of one little car. The car had been moved to the other side of the marker. I never saw the car again, and my son has not had any more playmates that I know of.

I have told this story a few times, and often am asked why I would let my child get in a situation like that. The only thing I can explain is the major sense of peace and love I felt when holding the car. It was if I could feel the child's love and loneliness through the car. And besides, If something really wanted to harm someone, would it come bearing gifts?

Amanda Harper, Arkansas, USA
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