Stranger Danger Meets the Amish

Written by mom - 2 Comments

We stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch on our way home from vacation a few weeks ago, and something interesting happened. Those of you familiar with “The Barrel” (as we refer to it) know that it has a wonderful assortment of candy. We usually let the boys pick out something for the road — Swedish fish for them, Atomic Fire Balls for us. Yum!

Anyway, we finished our lunch and the boys and I went out front, near the rockers, to wait for my husband as he picked out the candy and paid the check. As the boys were rocking away and playing checkers, a young Amish couple (or perhaps they were Mennonites; she had the little white cap and they both had the typical plain clothes) approached son #2 and offered him four very large suckers to share with his brothers. This had never happened to one of my boys, so he was slightly taken aback and didn’t immediately reach for the candy. “It’s OK. You can take it,” said the young man.

I felt my Mama Bear bristle inside of me and I politely said, “No, thank you.” His response to this was to try to hand the suckers to me instead. The boys went crazy and began to beg for a sucker. I again said, “No thank you,” and added, “I’ve taught my boys never to take anything from somebody they don’t know. I need to abide by my own rules. In the grand scheme of things I’m sure it would be fine if I just took the candy, but the boys need to learn this lesson.”

(By the way, I really did use those words. Even under pressure, I kept my cool.)

He smiled and said, “That’s fine. I totally understand. I have three kids of my own. Can I give them to the guy inside?”

“You mean my husband?” I inquired.

“Yes.”

“No thank you. He’s not going to take them either.”

The couple intimated that all was fine and left “The Barrel” and us alone. The boys were very curious about what transpired, so I gave them my take on the whole situation. I explained that this was very likely a religious couple trying to perform a random act of kindness. However, our family has a steadfast rule that you never take something from somebody you don’t know. Anybody can dress up to look Amish and/or safe just like anybody can tell you they’re a doctor. You never really know the truth when you’re dealing with a stranger.

I didn’t delve any deeper than this with the boys. However, after much pondering, I felt very sorry that things had to go the way they did. The young man showed such exuberance, almost child-like, with his gift of candy. After I rejected their offer for the third time, I noticed a crimson shade of red on the cheeks of the young woman. Don’t get me wrong, I totally stand by my decision to refuse the candy, but it was almost done at the expense of their innocence. It seems that, in their sheltered world, the potential repercussions of accepting a treat from a stranger are almost unfathomable.

The valuable lessons learned will make everybody in the scenario less naive about this world we live in. Don’t take candy from strangers. Don’t approach random children and offer them candy. In any case, Mama Bear protected her cubs and will do so again. Granted, my adversaries weren’t much of a match. I hope I never need to protect my cubs from a worthier foe.

Published on July 20th, 2007 - 2 Comments
Filed under: Child Safety,Daily Life
digg this - stumble it - save to del.icio.us

Related articles...

If you found this article useful, please sign up to receive free e-mail updates:

You will receive only the daily updates, and can unsubscribe at anytime.

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. You would be surprised how difficult it is to give things away.

    Three or four years ago I bought a couple dozen newspapers. It was a great coming together of coupons that let me purchase the newspapers for 25 cents, my favorite spaghetti sauce being on sale for 10 cents lower than it usually goes on sale for (which is over a dollar less than the normal price) plus the newspapers having a coupon for 75 cents off of two of the jars of spaghetti.

    I was able to buy quite a few jars of spaghetti sauce, but then I had a lot of newspapers that I didn’t need. I spent the late morning and afternoon walking around my city offering people a newspaper. I got rid of most of them, but it was a lot of work, and still had a half dozen left to recycle.

    Most people gave me a suspicious look and refused, but only a few actually asked me what the catch was. Not very many people believed that I was just giving away the day’s newspaper.

    Comment by Blaine Moore — Jul 20th 2007 @ 1:14 pm
  2. I love the ‘stranger danger’ dvd. And I’m glad you showed your kids the right thing to do. It is very difficult to be ‘nice’ and still make your children aware of the dangers.

    Comment by vw bug — Jul 22nd 2007 @ 9:07 am

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Get free updates...

Articles via e-mail:

Search this site...

Sponsors...

Popular topics...

Recent articles...

Recent comments...

  • Nan: Believe me when I tell you that allowing disrespect from a child creates...
  • Misty: Hello all… It has been a few years since I last posted and...
  • heather: This is for lovely Maria, who obviously doesn`t understand. I will...
  • Brittney: My son is just 3 and a half years old and was recently diagnosed...
  • Mary Gulledge: Yes they do personalize the autographs…I got one for my...
  • Brooke: Thanks Amy for responding. I have decided to wait on the Intuniv for...
  • Amy: Hi Brooke! My son, now 9 yrs old, has been on Intuniv for 2 and a half...
  • Brooke: My daughter, 10 years old, is in the fifth grade. She is struggling...

Most talked about...