Nancy was a pretty little girl and her mother always tried to dress her in nice clothes. One day Nancy's mother said: "I think it is time you had a new pair of shoes, Nancy. I have saved up enough money for them."
Nancy looked at her old sneakers. They were getting a little scuffed and worn, but they still felt right. And Nancy and her old sneakers were very good friends. They could run and jump together all day long, and Nancy's feet would never get tired or sore.
But Nancy felt a little sad. "Will I have to throw my old sneakers away, mother?" she asked. Nancy wanted new shoes, but she didn't like to say goodbye to old friends.
"Oh, goodness, no," her mother said. "You can keep them awhile yet. They are still good for playing in. But it would be nice to have some new shoes for special occasions and dress-up."
So Nancy and her mother went downtown to buy a pair of brand new shoes. They looked in one store window and then another, until they found just the kind that Nancy wanted.
Nancy and her mom went into the store and the salesclerk took the new shoes out of the window. Her mother looked them over. "The price is right," she said. "I have just enough money for them."
The salesclerk helped Nancy off with her old sneakers and on with the new shoes.
"Oh, dear," her mother said. "I'm afraid they are a little big." Nancy looked very unhappy.
"Just a minute," the salesclerk said. "I have some more of these out back in the stockroom. I'll just go and see if we have a pair a little smaller."
"Oh, I do hope so," said Nancy. "They are the prettiest little shoes I have ever seen!"
"Try these on," the salesclerk said, when he came back with another pair. "They look a little better." And when Nancy did, they fit perfectly.
"Now, they will take a little time to break in," the salesclerk said, as he wrapped them up. "They will be a little stiff at first. All new shoes are like that. You must wear them a little until they loosen up. But soon they will be like old friends."
Nancy Jean was very excited. She skipped all the way home, with her new shoes held tightly in her arms. And she didn't even mind there was no money left over to buy an ice cream at the Avon Street store - because she had the prettiest new shoes in town!
Now the very next day, Nancy's school was having a picnic. And of course, Nancy wanted to wear her brand new shoes.
"I think you had better wear your sneakers," her mother said. "There will be lots of skipping and jumping and races to run. Your old sneakers will be just right for that." But Nancy would not listen. She wanted to wear her new shoes to the picnic and would hear of nothing else.
"Very well," her mother said. "But I think you are making a mistake."
So away Nancy scampered to the picnic in her brand new shoes. She could hardly wait to get there. She was so excited that her big blue eyes sparkled almost as much as her shiny new shoes.
But when Nancy came home after school, she was not so happy. In fact, she could hardly keep back the tears at all.
"Mommy," she cried, "my shiny new shoes hurt my feet. And they were no good for running or jumping in, and I came last in all the races."
"Well, my dear," her mother said, "I think you have learned a lesson. Sometimes what is bright and shiny is not always best. Sometimes it is better to wear the right thing for the right purpose. The clothes must suit the occasion. What do you think, Nancy?"
"I think you are right, mother," Nancy said.
And so she was.
The End - boys and girls - Now Good Night & Sleep Tight.
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