The Penny Project

Another 400 word essay!

Today I will purchase a roll of pennies, and for half a dollar I will make 50 people happy.  I will leave pennies on benches, drop them on sidewalks, scatter them like seeds, one at a time.

Do you remember the rhyme?

                     Find a penny

                     Pick it up

                     All day long

                     You’ll have good luck.

I believed that saying when I was a child, and remember the joy I felt when I found a penny lying on the ground.  It promised abundance and I expected good fortune the rest of the day.  Every happy coincidence confirmed that a single penny had brightened my life.

It doesn’t matter if the penny is old and well-worn or shiny copper.  If it looks old, a child will look carefully at the date it was made.  She may marvel at this small coin that passed from pocket to purse, hand to hand, for years before her own birth.  If the coin is newly minted, its brilliance will make the finder want to keep it in a jar to admire later like a firefly trapped on a summer evening.  Even an ordinary dull penny promises the same luck.  And if the newly discovered penny is then thrown into a wishing well or fountain, good fortune is increased as well as being passed on to others.

I remember when a penny had real value.  I was best friends with a twin brother and sister, and after school we would stop at the Ben Franklin before continuing the walk home.  There we could choose from bins of penny candy, some costing 1¢, some costing a nickel, but always less than a dime.  It was difficult to choose between so many types and flavors.  The store was a dime store with wooden floors and merchandise stacked nearly to the ceiling.  The choice  was incredible if you were looking for plastic dolls, paper doilies, artificial flowers or small jars of bubbles.

A few years ago I went back to my neighborhood and drove by the “Five and Dime.”  I had told my daughters about my walks home, the traditional stop, and wanted to let them feel the boards creak under their feet.  It had been replaced by a pet supermarket, the bubbles and doilies now gourmet dog biscuits and squeaky toys.  And nothing cost a penny.

Still, I think that I’ll go to the bank and get a roll.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pearlinocean
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 12:05:24

    When I was younger I used to think about dropping candies or coins or something small but simple and profound on my way back so there is some thing behind and anyone else could find it. I wonder what they would feel If they see it or pick them up and would it give them that simple hope and happiness and feeling that it’s left with.


  2. pearlinocean
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 06:37:48

    I didn’t know about that. It’s a nice idea. Thanks for sharing it with me. 🙂


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