Grandpa seeks to share money tree seeds

Grandpa seeks to share money tree seeds by Bob Karolevitz I wish grandson Sam would give me some of those magical seeds.

He got an A for his short story, �Money Tree,� in his fifth-grade writing class � and I�d like to get in on it. It�s even better than winning the lottery.

We�ve all been told a thousand times that money doesn�t grow on trees. Well, 10-year-old Sam turned the tables on us.

According to the story, he planted a seed, and it grew up to be a tree whose leaves were dollar bills. All you had to do was harvest them and you were on easy street.

Sam didn�t end up his story with a moral, but reading between the lines, maybe there is one there.

We�d all like a �money tree.� That�s why sweepstakes are so successful. And bingo. And slot machines. And picking the numbers on Power Ball.

The lure of instant riches is ingrained in the human animal, I think. That�s why casinos attract a greater following than some churches.

Hopeful winners make lists of what they would do with the money if they are lucky: pay off the mortgage, buy a new car, send the kids to college and � sort of an after-thought � give some to charity.

It�s part of the �money tree� syndrome!

I admit that I�ve had a touch of it ever since I matched pennies as a youngster. (I�d have been better off saving the Indian Heads which showed up now and then in those days.) But I digress!

I enjoy playing bingo and I�ve placed a two-buck bet on a long shot at the track ��but I never won.

What�s sort of implicit in Sam�s �money tree� story is that you have to work for it. And that includes professional athletes and business CEOs. Most of them didn�t get where they are without preparation and time in the trenches.

Most �money trees� take a long time to grow. They have to be cultivated and watered for years, and they don�t necessarily turn into greenbacks. Sometimes they don�t produce the hoped-for bonanza, but then �farming� isn�t always easy.

(Now I�m getting preachy, and I didn�t mean to be!)

I�m proud of Sam because his story made such interesting reading. Who cares whether a moral was included? All I know is that his imagination is alive and well.

Maybe when he plants his �money tree,� he won�t be a writer � but sometimes I wish my mind hadn�t been so confined to rote instead of free-wheeling like his.

When I was his age, I don�t recall any departure from the norm, except, maybe for my interest in the Bobbsey Twins. Sam � and his generation � are way ahead of us there.

I�ve been kind of fact-bound with my writing, but Sam�s fertile imagination apparently has no limits. Oh, I�ve fictionized a few things, Phyllis says. However, I don�t wander too far from my literary straitjacket.

So, I�ve written three dozen books, but unfortunately there isn�t a �money tree� among them. Before it�s too late, I just hope my grandson shares some of his seeds with me.

Incidentally, I�m also glad that he got an A!

� 2002 Robert F. Karolevitz

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