As Willie reached for his piggy bank from off the shelf in his bedroom, he thought to himself, “It’s December 1st. I need to see how much money I have for Christmas gifts for Grandma Hattie, Grandpa Dooley, my mom and my sister, Nellie.”
The piggy bank wasn’t just a piggy bank for saving loose change made by helping with extra chores at home and for the neighbors. No, it was special because it was a gift!
Last year, for Christmas, Grandpa Dooley made Willie and Nellie each a piggy bank so the could save for Christmas, 2015. He made them in a pottery class at the recreation center. Grandpa Dooley was so proud of his work! He beamed with pride when Nellie and Willie opened the piggy bank gifts and saw how pleased they were to receive them.
Willie shook the piggy bank; it sounded like there was a lot of money in there!. He turned the bank over and tried to turn the nob that would open the bank; nothing happened. It wouldn’t open. He tried and tried, but he couldn’t get it open. First Willie was mad, then he was scared. How was he going to get it open? He had seen lots of pictures of kids hitting their piggy banks open with a hammer, but how would he explain to his grandpa that he broke his piggy bank and could never use it again?
Just then, Nellie came into Willie’s room and said “You need someone stronger than you to open your piggy bank. I got Coach Campbell to open my bank.” Willie’s face brightened. “Good idea, Nellie, I’ll bring my bank to school tomorrow and ask Coach.”
The next day, after gym class, Willie asked Coach to open his bank for him. Coach tried and tried to open the bank, but no luck. Willie was really upset. He asked Coach Campbell, “What am I going to do? I’ve been saving all year. If I don’t get this bank open, I won’t have any money for Christmas presents.”
Coach could see Willie was fighting back tears. “Willie,” said Coach, “there is only one thing you can do. Go to your grandpa and show him how you can’t open the piggy bank. Be sure to tell him I tried and I couldn’t do it either. Be sure to tell him how much the bank means to you and you didn’t want to break it open to get the money out even though you need the money for Christmas gifts.”
When Willie got home, Grandpa Dooley was reading his paper in his favorite chair. He went up to his grandpa, cleared his throat, and told him about his problem with the piggy bank and how he needed the money. Grandpa listened quietly, then he got up, went into his tool box and got out the hammer.
“No Grandpa, don’t break it You made it!” Then Willie started to cry. “Willie boy, you did chores, and saved all year to be able to buy gifts for the family. I made you the bank so you could save, and you did just that! Now you deserve to get your money.
With that, Grandpa Dooley gave the hammer a swing and the pig broke in several pieces.
Willie couldn’t believe all the coins that fell out. Grandpa gave Willie a pat on the back and said,”I can always make you another piggy bank, and I will. This time, I’ll make sure you can open your piggy bank by yourself. “