Once upon a time there was a little angel who lived up in the clouds with his mother and father. He had beautiful feathery wings which allowed him to fly up into the sky and flit from one cloud to another just like a bird. The little angel’s favorite things to do were to eat chocolate cake, be sung to by his parents at bedtime, and fly up up up to the highest clouds in the sky to play there with his friends.
One day, the little angel said to his mother, “I am going out to play! I’ll be back later, ok?”
His mother answered, “But you haven’t cleaned your room yet!”
“That’s ok,” said the little angel, “I’ll just clean it later.”
“Not this time,” said his mother. “You’ve been saying that all week! You aren’t allowed to go out to play until you have cleaned your room.”
Even though the little angel knew that this was a reasonable request, all of a sudden he became very angry. He wanted to go play now, he didn’t want to clean his room! He shouted, “I won’t clean my room ever! I hate you! I’m going out to play and you can’t stop me!”
And with that, he ran as fast as he could out of the house, leaving his shocked mother behind him in the kitchen.
Once he stopped running, he began to regret shouting at his mother. Even though he had not wanted to clean his room, he did not really mean the words he had said; he did not hate his mother at all – in fact, he loved her very much. He had let his anger get the better of him.
Oh well, he thought, and tried to fly up to where he was supposed to meet his friend to play, up on the highest clouds in the sky. But when he tried to fly, he noticed a heavy weight on his shoulders pulling him down. With great effort, he managed to fly up to some lower clouds, panting and coughing as he went. His friend was looking for him when he arrived and said to him, “Look at my cool new toy! Do you like it?” In his hand, he held a shiny red ball, perfect for bouncing on the clouds – hours of entertainment perfect for a sunny afternoon.
“Wow!” said the little angel, “Cool! Can I play with it?”
“No!” said his friend. “It’s mine! I don’t want to share it with you!”
The little angel, disappointed and angry, said, “Fine, I don’t want to anyway! It’s an ugly ball and doesn’t look fun to play with at all!” He pushed his friend hard on the chest and watched him fall over before flying away angrily.
This time, after stopping to think about his outburst of anger and the words which he had once again said even though he didn’t mean them, he noticed that the weight on his shoulders had gotten even heavier. Now he couldn’t have reached the middle clouds even with great effort; in fact, it was difficult to even reach the lowest clouds in the sky! Finally he found a nice low treetop to sit on and sat there trying to figure out how to get the weight off his shoulders.
As he sat there pondering the mystery, he saw his father flying towards him.
“Dad!” he said excitedly.
“Hey, kid,” said his dad. “I hear you and your mom got in a fight earlier.”
“Yeah,” said the little angel, “she wanted me to clean my room and I was about to go out to play! I would have cleaned it up after, but it wasn’t fair of her to ask me to clean my room exactly when I was about to leave!”
“Hmm,” said his dad, “you may have a point there, but even if what Mom asked of you wasn’t fair, what you said to her before you left really hurt her feelings.”
“Yeah, I know,” said the little angel. “I’ve been feeling guilty about it all afternoon. I don’t hate her, not even a little bit.”
“You know what the best cure for guilt is?” asked his dad.
“What?” asked the little angel.
“Saying you’re sorry,” answered his dad.
So the little angel took his father’s advice and went to apologize to his mother. Flying back to their house was difficult for him because he still had a huge weight on his shoulders, like rocks glued to his chest, but he beat his little wings very hard and made it back home finally, huffing and puffing, to find his mother sitting outside.
“Hi, Mom,” said the little angel bashfully.
“Hello, my love. Did you have fun playing outside?”
“Not really,” he answered. “I had a fight with my friend. But, Mom, I need to tell you something.”
“What?” she asked.
“I’m really sorry about what I said to you when I was angry,” he said. “I don’t hate you and I’ll clean my room tonight, I promise.”
His mom smiled. “It’s ok to be angry sometimes. I know you don’t hate me and I would never think that, but all the same, it means a lot to me that you apologized. Thanks, kid – I forgive you.”
And she gave him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Suddenly the angel felt some of the weight on his shoulders lift. It had become a little easier to fly, he realized with joy! He felt so much better and was so glad he had taken his father’s advice and apologized to his mother.
And then he understood – if he wanted to fly like he used to and once again be able to reach the highest clouds where he liked to play with his friends, there was one more thing he had to do. His dad was right: the best cure for guilt was saying you’re sorry, and the little angel had a feeling it would also cure the weight he felt on his shoulders keeping him down and making it harder for him to fly.
Once again, the little angel flew up to where he had met his friend earlier, beating his wings very hard and huffing and puffing from the effort as he did so. Finally he found his friend still playing there with the ball.
“Hi!” he said, “I’m sorry we fought earlier.”
“Me too,” said his friend.
“And I’m sorry for calling your ball ugly and for pushing you,” said the little angel. “It hurt my feelings that you wouldn’t share your ball with me, but I still shouldn’t have pushed you or insulted you. I hope you’re not hurt too bad.”
His friend smiled and said, “That’s ok, I forgive you. I’m not hurt at all, see? And I think I owe you an apology, too – I know it wasn’t nice of me not to share the ball with you, but if you’re ready to forgive me and still want to play, I’m ready to share it now! I thought maybe we could play catch!”
“Of course I forgive you! I love catch!” said the little angel. And with that, he felt the last of his guilt and anger leave him, along with the weight pressing down on his shoulders. Now feeling light and carefree, he raced his friend to their favorite clouds high up in the sky and spent the rest of the afternoon playing happily with him, knowing that all was forgiven and that there would probably be chocolate cake waiting for him when he got home.