Little Ruth was a tiny girl. She was six years old. But she had lots of stamina and lots of pluck. Pink was her favorite color. Her father liked to run in Marathons. Ruth decided one day that she would like to try it. So she asked her father if he would sign her up to run in the Valentine's day marathon through the city park. He was delighted that she should be interested in the same activity that was he.

So he signed her up for children's division of the Valentine's Day Marathon. Then he took her shopping, to buy a pair of running shoes. She of course chose a pink pair. She loved pink. Then she asked if she could get some new pink shorts and a new pink T-shirt. Dad thought what she owned at home would be good enough. But Ruth was persistent. She knew how to wrap Dad around her little finger. After all, she was his little princess. So she went home with pink running shoes, pink shorts, and two pink T-shirts.

The next day, they started running together up and down their block, to help her train for the marathon. Weeks of running, prepared her for her first marathon.

When Valentine's Day arrived, Ruth, her father, and her mother holding baby brother in her arms, found their place in the line, to pick up her number for the race. Dad helped Ruth fasten the numbered card to the back of her new pink shirt.

Then the children participating, were called to their positions. Ruth felt she was lucky. She was six years old and the number assigned to her was six. She thought this was a very good omen. She took her place in line with all the rest of the excited participants.

The children in anticipation waited to hear the whistle blow. When the official blew it, they all took off, some fast, some slow, and Ruth following her father's instructions, paced herself so as not to get too far behind but not so fast that she wore herself out early.

The children ran along marked paths in the park. Ruth was doing very well. But then something happened to slow her down. Two teeth, which had been loose for a few days, fell out. Ruth stopped in her tracks. She had to find those teeth. The Tooth Fairy would never find them in the dirt. So Ruth got down on her knees and searched for them. Her father who had been following the progression, didn't know what to make of his daughter kneeling on the dirt path while others passed her by. He was afraid she was hurt. So he rushed to her side to assist. He laughed when Ruth with tears in her eyes, told him she had lost her teeth.

So Dad got down on the dirt path and helped her search. They found the teeth and Dad told her to continue on her race. He would hold the teeth for her.

Ruth didn't come in first. She didn't come in sixth. But she also wasn't last. She was afraid her father would be ashamed of the fact that she didn't win the race. But he explained to her, winning wasn't everything. But finishing what she started was very important. He was very proud of her. Ruth heard all this and smiled.

That night, she placed her two teeth under the pillow. The next morning when she awoke, she was astonished to find, not one dollar, not two, but what she found was two five dollar bills. One five dollars for each tooth. Wow! Ten dollars just to spend as she wanted. She and Dad would get to go shopping again.

When they went shopping, Dad was the one who was surprised. Ruth spent five dollars for a pair of pink socks. But she spent the other five dollars for a baby toy for her little brother. After all, he wasn't old enough to run in a Marathon. She felt he should also have something.



By Sharon (ByGolly25@aol.com)






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