Once a young man was told by his father to pick up some clutter in the side yard—there were some tools, and a few toys, and some debris from a small rock wall that they had been building for a flower bed.
His father came home after dark that day (it was winter and so it got dark early) and after dinner, before bed, he asked his son if he had gotten the job done.
“Yes,” the son said, lying. But soon as the words were out of his mouth, he kicked himself inside, and resolved to get up early the next morning and get it done before his dad was up and around. However, when he got up in the morning he was dismayed to see that the yard and his disobedience were covered with half a foot of powdered snow. He couldn’t find anything out there now, and he couldn’t even try to find it without telling the world that he hadn’t picked up like he was told.
It was a long, slow, torturous winter. Every warm spell when he was at school, or stray comments about the rake not hanging on the garage wall and “where was it?” cut him to the heart. And every time he thought about confessing it to his father, the stupidity of the whole thing brought him up short. And every day that went by, it just got stupider and harder to think about doing. Every night before bed, he thought about how stupid it would be by the springtime.