"OH NO!!" cried Grace as she looked at Jasmine in dismay. "I can't accept this!"
All the children crowded around Grace as she looked into the box. There, curled up in the bottom of the box, was a large snake! The reptile appeared to be asleep, but Grace was taking no chances. She slammed the lid back on the box and stood up.
"Jamsine! Why'd you give me a snake for my birthday! I'm terrified of snakes!" said Grace in a shaky voice.
Everyone was silent. Even Grace's parents seemed speechless. Finally Willie said, "I think you hurt Jasmine's feelings, Grace. Not that I blame you, but you've got to apologize to her."
Grace seemed confused. "I've been trying so hard to be friends with Jasmine. Then she gives me a present that scares me to death! What am I supposed to think?"
Mr. Castillo finally broke his silence. "Grace, I think she honestly thought you'd like that snake. If her father really does raise the critters, she probably thinks everyone likes them. I don't think she meant to scare you. And I know you didn't mean to upset her, either. But Willie's right- you have to apologize."
The usually cheerful Grace seemed reluctant. "Do you think they have a LOT of snakes at their house?" she asked fearfully.
"You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you," quoted Willie. The party's over- let's go!"
NEXT STORY: "A Visit to Jasmine's House"