Jamie and Max were playful boys being raised by their grandmother, but one day, they decided to help their older neighbor, Mr. Coleman, with his farm. This went on for years until one day when they discovered a strange stash in the barn, and it changed their lives forever.
“Boys! Please, be careful! You don’t want Mr. Coleman to scold you, do you?” Grandma Adele warned her grandsons, Jamie and Max, who started running around Mr. Coleman’s terrain as soon as they arrived. They lived right next door to the older man’s farmhouse, and Adele had to give him some of his mail which had been wrongly delivered to her house.
“Yes, Grandma!” they said in unison, and Adele could only shake her head at them. Mr. Coleman answered the door carefully while maneuvering his wheelchair, but he had a smile on his face.
“Good morning, Adele. What’s going on?” he asked, looking toward the kids.
“Oh, Mr. Coleman. Your mail was delivered to my house. I would’ve called, but I was outside and decided to pop by. Although the boys had to come with me, and now, they’re running around all over your farm. I’m so sorry,” she explained, wiping her forehead from the rare Missouri heat.
“Don’t worry about it, Adele. They can come here whenever they want, as long as they don’t damage anything or get injured,” the older man assured with a smile. “You know… I don’t have any children or grandchildren. It’s nice seeing the kids running around.”
“I’m glad you don’t mind because my house is small, and I don’t have much entertainment or things to distract them with. I wish I had more to offer, but when their parents died – my dear daughter – well, I had to step up, which is not easy with just my pension,” Adele continued, oversharing a little.
“I understand. It must be hard. Just like it’s so hard for me to keep up with the farm. I’ve hired some help, but it’s not enough. It never seems to be, and young people nowadays don’t want to work on the farm,” Mr. Coleman added.
Neither of them realized that the kids had approached them and had overheard their conversation. The eldest, Jamie, interrupted them. “You need help with the farm? Can we help?”
“YEAH!” his little brother exclaimed, raising his hands in delight.
“Oh, kids. Mr. Coleman needs adult help. You are too little for that still,” Adele interjected so that Mr. Coleman would have to reject her grandkids’ offer. But then she looked at her neighbor who scratched his chin with a pensive look. He spoke up when he met her eyes.
“You know, Adele. I could actually use some help from the boys. I need them to go into the chicken barn and gather all the eggs. How does that sound?” he offered, and Adele raised her eyebrows at the boys, waiting for their reaction.
“Chickens?” Jamie asked, scared. But his little brother got excited, said yes, and jumped around, so Jamie also nodded his head.
“Ok, let’s go, and I’ll teach you what to do,” Mr. Coleman said and started rolling his wheelchair towards the chicken barn. Adele followed with a smile. Working and helping their neighbor might be an excellent idea for her grandsons. They were curious, playful, and sometimes naughty. A little discipline couldn’t hurt.
It took a while due to the wheelchair, but they reached the coop, and Mr. Coleman explained exactly what they would need to do. He also offered to pay them a few cents daily, but the boys surprised their grandmother.
“No, no. We don’t need money. We just want to help out and play around the farm. Is that ok?” Jamie said, and his little brother nodded in agreement.
Mr. Coleman pursed his lips but agreed immediately. The boys could have free access to his entire land if they helped retrieve the eggs.
From that day forward, the boys gathered the eggs daily, after which they would run around the farm and sometimes get into trouble. But it was never anything too bad. Mr. Coleman was incredibly patient and loved having their youthful energy around.
The boys grew up, and the older man once again offered them some money, thinking they could use it. But once again, the boys rejected the offer. He tried again after a few more years, and they still refused for some unfathomable reason Mr. Coleman couldn’t understand. Every time they rejected his offer, he returned to his house and cried at how kind they were becoming.
By their teens, they weren’t just retrieving eggs. They started tending to the land, walking the horses, and learning how to use heavy machinery from Mr. Coleman’s few employees, and they seemed to love the work. His farm started to thrive because of them.
When Jamie graduated high school, he started taking business classes at the local community college, but he spent most of the time at the farm. Max did the same. He had a part-time job at a local ice cream shop, but he shadowed his brother at the farm.
For years, Adele also came over often, and they all ate dinner together most of the time. They were Mr. Coleman’s family, and he thought about ways to thank them for the help and love he had received for so long.
“Hey, Jamie, Max. Can you get me the morning eggs? I want to make you guys an omelet,” Mr. Coleman told them one morning.
“I brought a bunch yesterday, but sure,” 17-year-old Max commented but nodded his head and started walking towards the farm.
“Wait for me,” Jamie said and followed him.
“Do you remember the first time we came here?” Max asked his big brother as soon as they walked into the chicken barn.
Jamie laughed heartily. “Oh, yeah. I think the chickens were so nice that day because Mr. Coleman was there. But the next time, it was horrible! We got beaked way too many times,” he replied and started searching for eggs.
But neither of them could find any eggs. “What’s going on? It’s like none of them laid eggs last night. That’s odd. Could they be sick?” Max wondered.
“Keep looking,” Jamie insisted, pretending not to be worried. But he was. This was an oddity. These chickens were crazy healthy, and this farm earned a big chunk of money selling their eggs, which made this situation odd.
They got to the last chicken in the coop, and again, there were no eggs. However, Jamie frowned at something hidden beneath the chicken’s hay. “What’s this?” he asked.
“What’s what? Oh, what is that? A secret stash?” Max guessed, coming over to see what his big brother was holding.
“Maybe… but it’s an envelope. Who would leave this here?” Jamie questioned and opened the envelope.
“Should you be doing that? Let’s take it to Mr. Coleman. Maybe that’s his,” Max suggested.
“Let’s take a peek,” Jamie insisted, his naughty side surfacing and making Max laugh. They had matured over the years but were still pretty playful. “Oh my god!”
“What? What is it?” Max asked, his curiosity evident now.
“It’s a… it’s like a contract. It states that the farm is ours when Mr. Coleman dies. This can’t be real,” Jamie breathed.
“Let me see,” Max demanded, taking the papers from his brother’s hand. “You’re right! Is this real?”
“Yes, it is.” They both turned and saw Mr. Coleman at the entrance of the chicken barn, sitting calmly in his wheelchair.
The boys looked at each other in shock and approached the older man quickly. “What do you mean, sir?” Jamie asked.
“It’s real. When I die, you guys will inherit this farm. For years, you two helped me without payment. I know that at first, it was because you wanted to play here and get in all sorts of trouble. But you two grew up quickly. You worked hard. Most importantly, you became my family. Adele too. I want you to have this.”
“Are you sure?” Max wondered, shocked.
“This is a lot, and we didn’t do it for money or anything like that,” Jamie added, thinking Mr. Coleman might have felt pressured to give them something in return.
“I know that very well, boys. And I am 100% sure. This is your farm as soon as I’m gone,” Mr. Coleman assured them, and both boys ran to him, giving him the tightest hug any of them had ever gotten.
They told Adele later that night, and she cried heavily. “I can’t thank you enough, Mr. Coleman. I know my grandsons turned out so well because they learned so much here. And now, this gift… it’s more than I ever imagined.” She gave the older man a warm hug.
A few years later, Jamie took the lead in managing the farm as he knew about business. Meanwhile, Max learned and applied new agricultural methods on the farm which prospered. Soon, Mr. Coleman got sick, and on his deathbed, he thanked the boys for everything they did.
“You two gave me a family and a way to keep my legacy going,” were the last words they heard from the old man. During his funeral, both boys pledged to maintain his legacy for as long as they could. And Adele… she was the proudest grandmother in the world.
What can we learn from this story?
Helping others out can change your life in many ways. Jamie and Max decided to help their older neighbor with the farm, asking for nothing in return. But their actions were repaid in full many years later.
Boys need some form of discipline to thrive and become great men. Working on the farm helped turn Jamie and Max into great, responsible men, even if their naughty and playful side would always remain.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a poor boy who helped an old lady with her groceries and got something great in return.
This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only.