The Puppy Cup

– originally published by me on FaithWriters.

“Cammie, get out of Daddy’s chair!”

“In your dreams! I was sitting here first! Now be quiet. I’m trying to watch Princess Bella!”

“It’s my turn and I wanna watch Super Bunny!” The little boy tried to wrest the television remote from her grip.

“Well go sit on the couch! You sat here the other night when Grandpa was here. You even got to sit on his knee!”

Scott came at her, his chubby fists flying, but Cammie flung her red hair over her shoulder and stuck her chin out defiantly as she warded off her little brother’s blows.

“You’re just a big old meanie! And it’s your fault we can’t get a puppy!”

Cammie stared at him. “It is not! You’re the one who won’t pick up your toys!”

Now her fists were ready to return blows. But before she could take a swing, her mother appeared in the doorway.

“Cammie! Scott! What are you squabbling about now?”



“Never mind!” Mom’s hand shot up in the air like that of a police sergeant at a busy intersection. “I don’t want to know. I’m sick of the two of you and your constant bickering. No TV for you this morning.”

“But Mom—”

“Both of you, to the kitchen! Now!”

Moments later, Mom sat down and set two cups on the table. A blue one and a white one.

“This,” she said, indicating the blue one, “is a Thankful Cup.”

“A thankful cup?” Cammie’s curiosity was beginning to peek through her anger and frustration. “What’s a thankful cup? And what’s the other one?”

“First you answer a question for me,” Mom said. “What does God say about fighting and complaining?”

“He says not to do it,” Scott said in a low voice, his eyes on the floor.

“That’s right,” Mom said. “It does not please Him one bit, and there’s been an awful lot of it around here lately. Both your Dad and I are very unhappy with the way you two have been behaving. And when you are mad at each other, you aren’t happy either, are you?”

Both children shook their heads.

“Okay, that’s where the Thankful Cup comes in. Cammie, how much is your weekly allowance?”

“Five dollars.”

“And Scott, how much is yours?”

“This many,” he said, holding up two fingers.

“That’s right,” Mom said. “And here’s what we’re going to do. Every Saturday I’m going to put your allowance for the next week, in the Thankful Cup. Five dollars in nickels, and two dollars in pennies. All during that week, every time you fight or complain, Cammie, you are going to take a nickel out of the Thankful Cup and put it into the Penalty Cup.” Mom pointed to the white cup.

“What about me?” Scott asked, evidently not wanting to be left out.

“Every time you fight or complain, you will take a penny out of the Thankful Cup and put it in the Penalty Cup.”

“And then,” she went on, “when Saturday comes around, I will give you what is left of your allowance.”

“But what if there’s nothing left?” Scott asked, his eyebrows wrinkling.

“Well then, you get no allowance that week. You will have a chance to catch yourself, though. If you apologize right away, then you get to take your coin back out of the Penalty Cup and put it back in the Thankful Cup. Oh, and there’s one more thing.”

Mom went to the cupboard and returned with a third cup—a pink one this time.

“What’s that one for?” Cammie rolled her eyes. Mom ignored the gesture and continued.

“Your dad and I will match whatever is left in the Thankful Cup each Saturday in this cup—the Puppy Cup. Now what do you think of that?”

Scott jumped off his chair and hopped up and down on the kitchen floor.

“Yay! A puppy!”

Even Cammie smiled. “Thank you, Mom! It’s the best idea ever!”

Do all things without murmurings and disputings. ~ Philippians 2:14 KJV

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Ephesians 5:20 KJV

© Willena Flewelling


  1. Hello Willena, This was a cute little story, I enjoyed the way you thought this all out. I actually had no idea at first where you were going with this one.

    Sometimes just a simple little thing like the puppy cup can make a huge difference in the way our children act..

    Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…How Far Would YOU Go For Online Success?My Profile

  2. Cute topic, Willena! I can see you love storytelling! 🙂
    Andrea Ansari recently posted…How To Set Up A Simple & High Converting Squeeze Page?My Profile

  3. Hi Willena,
    Lovely little story and a great idea. Wish my son was little again so I could do this! 🙂
    Lesly Federici recently posted…Coming Video Motion ProMy Profile

  4. Hi Willena,

    I sure did enjoy this story! Being a dog lover, it really resonated with me. It took me back to the day I got my first puppy for my 10th birthday. Not only was I thrilled, but appreciated my parents and boy did I learn responsibility!

    Donna Merrill recently posted…How To Write Blog Posts Like CrazyMy Profile

    • What a sweet birthday gift, Donna! I’m the oldest of 5, and we always had cats and dogs, but they never belonged to any particular member of the family. Except maybe my mom, who had a special gift with all animals. I never knew a cat or dog who didn’t take to her right away.
      Willena Flewelling recently posted…NostalgiaMy Profile

  5. Great teaching story Willena, so captivating. I like the part where you mention that if you catch yourself you can get your coin back. So many of us as adults need to learn to catch ourselves in our dealings with others and apologize before sparks of fire begin to be a blazing fire. Thanks for sharing.
    Siphosith recently posted…High converting Landing Pages Tools To UseMy Profile

  6. Hi Willena,
    Very nice story 🙂 a great way to tech the
    children 🙂 to get mindful 🙂
    I think for the sake of the puppy they will think more of it 🙂
    Thank you
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…Intuitive Mind And CreativityMy Profile

  7. Very nicely done, Willena.

    Everybody likes a story, and especially one that includes a puppy!

    As with any good story, you’ve certainly given us a clear moral teaching and made it fun in the process. I’m sure kids will love this.

    Marketers know that story telling is the most powerful method of communication, yet they don’t usually know how to do it. You’ve illustrated the way, here.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted…Keep It Short StupidMy Profile

  8. Hi Willena, What a great story! You have provided a good way to teach children how to get along with fighting and complaining. Thanks for sharing!
    Shelley Alexander recently posted…3 Energizing Smoothie Shots with Organic GreensMy Profile

  9. Hi Willena,

    What a great story. I loved it. Such a creative way to teach kids about love, respect, giving and receiving.

    We need to get you moving to get some of your writings published.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…April 1st 2015 DS Domination BlitzMy Profile

  10. Love the idea of the thankful cup and the penalty cups, thanks for this Willena. My two daughters squabble like crazy and this might be helpful x
    Sarah Arrow recently posted…50 tips to help you have more marketing fun with PinterestMy Profile

  11. Hi Willena,

    What a sweet story and one that benefits. We’re always trying to teach (and hope it catches) our little ones (for me grandchildren). This is a valuable lesson for any little one to enjoy. Is this going into one of your collections?
    BG Jenkins recently posted…Don’t Forget to Put on Your Thinking Pac!My Profile

  12. Such a cute way to teach childrens.loved it !!!

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