Friday, February 19, 2010
“Check your wrapper,” Haley whispered to Kai and Nathan. “If it has an Indian and a star on it you get a free box of candy.”
“I have one,” Kai exclaimed.
“Me too!” Nathan ran over to me, waved his Tootsie Pop wrapper in the air like a golden ticket. “Put this in your purse. It has an Indian and a star. I get free candy.”
Kai handed his to my sister Kristy. “When can we go to the store?”
Kristy and I exchanged looks. Was that rumor about an Indian and a star on your Tootsie Pop wrapper earning you free candy still around?
“Um, we need to check out the details before we run down and ask for free candy,” Kristy told Kai. “You might have to send for it.”
I grinned at Kristy. “Do you remember telling us about the Indian and a Star thing when we were kids?”
Kristy blushed. “Yeah.”
My sisters and friend had charged the lady at the check stand with a fistful of Tootsie wrapper. According to Kristy one Indian and star combo won four free Pops. The checker didn’t have a clue what we were talking about. Embarrassed, Kristy pretended not to know what we were talking about either. “What Indian and star? I never said that?”
“I was such a brat.” Kristy laughed.
When I got home I decided to do a little research on the Indian and star before my sisters or I made fools of ourselves again, this time with our kids in tow.
As it turned out, this urban legend about the Indian and star has been around almost as long as Tootsie Pops. Sometimes the promised reward is a free Pop, other times a bag of them, several Pops, or a box of candy. For generations, kids have presented wrappers to store owners or sent them to Tootsie, only to be disappointed. (Some store owners are nice enough to honor the requests, probably because they were left jilted by the same vicious rumor as kids.)
When I told Kristy she cracked up before passing the word to our other sister, Sherry. Our kids even thought it was funny, once they heard that we’d fallen for the same thing.
According to some websites, Tootsie doesn’t even know how the wives tale started.
This reminded me how often we fall for lies. The enemy loves to throw them out at us and many, like the Tootsie Pop story, have been around forever.
“Did God really say . . . “
“If God loved you He would/wouldn’t . . .”
“What you did is unforgivable.”
They go on and on, and are rarely original. But how do we keep from falling for them? We can actually borrow some ideas from the Tootsie Pop scenario.
1. Stop and think before you act or give in.
2. Consider what happened the last time you listened to the same message, or a similar one.
3. Check out the facts (the best place being God’s Word).
While the lie that my sisters and I, and later our kids, bought into was harmless, Satan’s lies tend to cause damage far beyond the disappointment of not getting a free sucker. Ask God to keep you aware of deception and grounded in His truth.