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The 21st century! Our family was relieved to be back to the familiar world we know and love. Even though I was pleased to return, I was also thankful I’d had the opportunity to take a trip through time and learn some very valuable lessons. Because of one single penny, I had learned lessons that would stay with me the rest of my life.
I’d been thinking about Matt’s suggestion about opening my own business. My parents, Chloe, and I agreed that it was a great idea. By starting my own company, I could invest my money and give others the opportunity to work as well. Looking at my savings account, I realized that my money had added up. Yet I knew it wasn’t nearly enough to start a company. Matt had suggested I could find a business partner. I have the digging skills, now I need to find someone with business skills.
“Woody,” Chloe said, “I could be your business partner.” “Thanks, Chloe, but you don’t have the money we need either.” “Yes, I do. I’ve had a savings account for years. With a little of your money and a little of my money, we could open a small business and both of us could still have money left.” I was speechless. All this time I had been talking about money. I had gone from not having a penny to bragging about being “one rich dog,” yet all along Chloe had far more money than I, plus she was humble. “Think about it,” Chloe continued, “with your digging skills and my financial skills, we would make a great team!” “It’s a terrific idea!” I exclaimed. “What should we do?” “I know,” Chloe said. “How about we open a flower stand? You could dig flowers and I could sell them – and you know how much I love flowers! With Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and birthdays, we would be two busy hot dogs!” My sister really was a genius!
Chloe and I couldn’t hold our excitement. “We need a name for our flower stand,” I stated. “How about Double Dog Flowers?” I suggested. Chloe laughed, but I could tell she wasn’t sold on the idea. “You know, Woody,” Chloe said. “Since President Lincoln is your favorite president, and since the 1909 Lincoln penny brought about this entire journey, I think we should include something about the penny in our business.” “That’s a brilliant idea!” I said. “How about Two Dogs and a President?” Chloe thought about it and said, “How about Pennies ‘N’ Petunias?” For the next 20 minutes Chloe and I said both names of the business over and over to see which one we liked better. We couldn’t decide so Chloe said, “Hey, let’s play Heads and Tails. We’ll flip a coin. If it comes up heads, it will be Two Dogs and a President. If it comes up tails, it will be Pennies ‘N’ Petunias.” I took a penny from my pocket and tossed it in the air. “Heads or Tails?” I yipped. Chloe looked and said, “Tails – it’s Pennies ‘N’ Petunias.” With that, we officially had a name for our new business.
“Woody, you still haven’t told us what you are going to do with the 1909 penny. Have you decided?” Mom asked as our family ate dinner that evening. “Funny you should ask,” I said. “The other day, Dad and I were in Matt Mobley’s office at the Super Center. There was a one-dollar bill in a frame hanging on the wall. I asked Matt why he had framed a one-dollar bill. He said it was the first dollar he ever made. I think I’ll frame the penny and hang it up here at home. By seeing it every day, I can remember all the lessons I learned about working, saving, giving, and spending. Besides, President Lincoln will be watching over me, making sure I make wise and honest decisions.” “That’s a perfect idea!” Mom said.
My penny really was a treasure – not because of its value, but because of the lessons I had learned. The 1909 penny may have been worth only one cent, but a value couldn’t be place on having a strong work ethic and wise financial skills. I had learned the importance of hard work and saving and had learned that being rich had nothing to do with money in a bank account. I was rich because I was loved and because I lived in the land of opportunity. A land that allowed me to be an entrepreneur, a land that allowed me to earn money, and a land that allowed me to work and dream like a big dog! Because of those things, I was one rich, hot dog!
Thanks to LG&E/KU both E.ON companies and KPA for making this project possible. Thanks to the Kentucky Secretary of State for sponsoring the new podcast. For podcast and questions and activities go online to www.kypress.com.