There was once a little girl who lived with her loving mommy and daddy. The little girl had many toys, but her absolute favorite was a fake string of pearls that she wore almost everywhere. One night her father came into her room to tuck her into bed, and he asked her if she loved him. “Of course I love you Daddy” she replied.
“If you love me, can I have your pearl necklace?” he asked.
The little girl was horrified. “Not my necklace Daddy!” she exclaimed, “You can have my dolly, but please let me keep my pearls.” He smiled and kissed her goodnight.
The next night he asked her again if she loved him. “Yes Daddy, you know I love you.”
“Then can I please have your pearl necklace?”
She thought for a moment, and then said, “Please no Daddy, do you want my teddy instead?” He tucked her in and kissed her goodnight.
Again at night when he came to tuck her in her asked her if she loved him. "Oh yes Daddy, I love you very much," she said.
"Then please sweetheart, may I have your necklace?" he pleaded.
She paused - struggling - then slowly shook her head. "I love my necklace so much Daddy. Please, take my favorite book instead." He sighed and kissed her head, and said good night.
Finally, the next night, the little girl shuffled up to her daddy in her nightgown, weeping. She held out her hand that clutched her beloved necklace and sobbed, “Take them Daddy. I love my necklace, but I love you more. You can have my pearls.”
Her father scooped her up immediately, hugged her tightly and kissed her wet cheeks, then picked up a box from the side table. He opened it so she could see the beautiful, real pearl necklace lying inside. “I wanted your old necklace so I could give this to you. I needed you to give it up so I could give you something better.”