Lucy’s Lucky Penny: A Short Story

Lucy sat at the kitchen table, her feet not quite reaching the floor, swinging her legs back and forth. She was munching on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and her thoughts were miles away from the delightful taste in her mouth. Her father had been talking in hushed tones with her mother the previous night. Lucy, ever the curious one, had sneaked down the stairs and listened from behind the living room door.

“…may not have the job for much longer, Marge,” she heard her dad say, his voice tinged with worry.

The thought kept her awake for hours. What would they do without Dad’s job?

She had seen a movie once where a family had to leave their house because they couldn’t afford it anymore. Lucy shuddered at the thought. She loved her room, especially the big window that faced the tree where the bluebirds nested.

Lost in thought, Lucy almost didn’t notice the shiny penny lying by the side of the road as she walked to school. But the sun glinted off it just right, catching her eye. She picked it up, remembering how her grandmother always said, “Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.”

An idea popped into Lucy’s head. Maybe, just maybe, if she found enough lucky pennies, her dad wouldn’t lose his job. She started searching everywhere – on sidewalks, in the school playground, even in the sand at the park. Every day after school, Lucy would rush home to add her newly found pennies to a little jar she labeled, “Dad’s Lucky Pennies.”

One evening, as Lucy was cleaning out her pockets filled with the day’s collection, her dad walked in. He noticed the jar on her dresser, his eyebrows raised in curiosity. “What’s this for?” he asked.

Hesitating a moment, Lucy replied, “It’s for luck, Daddy. I thought if I found enough lucky pennies, maybe you won’t lose your job.”

Her father’s face softened, his eyes glistening. He sat down beside her, taking a deep breath. “Oh, sweetheart,” he began, “I understand your worries. But these things are complicated. It’s not about luck. Sometimes jobs change, and people have to find new ones.”

“But what if you can’t find a new one?” Lucy’s voice quivered.

Her dad hugged her tight. “We’ll figure it out, pumpkin. We always do. And you know what? Your love and this jar full of pennies? They mean more to me than any job ever could.”

Lucy snuggled closer, the weight in her heart lifting a little. Maybe it wasn’t just about the pennies, but the love behind them that mattered most.


A few weeks had gone by, and Lucy’s jar was almost full. Word had spread at school about Lucy’s “Lucky Penny Mission,” and soon enough, her friends started giving her pennies they found. Even her teacher, Mrs. Callahan, handed her a penny one day after class, her eyes filled with understanding.

One Saturday, as Lucy was playing in the backyard, she noticed Mrs. Benson, the elderly lady next door, beckoning her over. Mrs. Benson was always kind to Lucy, often gifting her cookies or sharing stories of her own childhood.

“Lucy dear,” she began, handing over a small velvet pouch, “I heard about your penny collection. When I was a little girl, I too collected pennies. These were my lucky pennies. I want you to have them.”

Lucy’s eyes widened in surprise, “But Mrs. Benson, are you sure?”

Mrs. Benson nodded with a smile, “Absolutely, dear. We all need a little luck from time to time.”

Inspired by the kindness of those around her, Lucy decided to start a “Lucky Penny Club” at school. With the help of her friends, they organized penny hunts and even set up a small stall during lunch breaks, where students could trade pennies for tiny good luck charms. The club became a hit, and soon there was enough money to buy a small gift for every person who was going through tough times.

One evening, as Lucy was counting the pennies from the day, her dad walked into her room with a big grin. “Guess what, pumpkin? I got a new job today!”

Lucy jumped up, her eyes sparkling with joy, “Really, Daddy? That’s amazing!”

He nodded, pulling her into a tight hug, “Yes, it’s closer to home and even better than the last one.”

Later that night, Lucy sat by her window, looking at the stars. She thought about the lucky pennies and all the people who had supported her. Maybe it wasn’t just about the pennies after all; it was about hope, community, and the power of love. She realized that sometimes, the universe had its own way of showing that everything would be okay.

And as she drifted off to sleep, a single penny lay on her windowsill, catching the moonlight, reminding Lucy that luck was just love in disguise.

Author

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  • Anika Patel

    Anika Patel boasts an extensive understanding of financial markets from her tenure at Goldman Sachs and roles such as Portfolio Manager and Financial Advisor. With degrees from Stanford and Wharton, she's also an author and adjunct professor, advocating for financial literacy among marginalized communities. Anika's work, praised for breaking down complex concepts into digestible steps, centers on personal finance, investment strategies, and wealth management, with a keen interest in ESG investments.

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