When Aunty Mabel said she was coming for a visit again, Nicholas decided he’d have to go back into the cupboard. Mommy had baked a fresh batch of delicious, golden donuts, and Nicholas knew he’d have to take several into the cupboard with him before Aunty Mabel arrived, otherwise he’d miss out on the donuts, as he in any case would be inside the cupboard hiding from his aunty. But this time when he thought of the cupboard, his heart sank.
The smell! The dark! The falling-down-and-poking-up-things! But then he thought of the donuts, and the more he thought of the donuts, the less he minded the cupboard!
When he heard Aunty Mabel’s knock at the door, he quickly filled his pockets and dived into the cupboard, just before Mommy came around the corner to answer the door. “Nicholas!” called Mommy, “Where are you? Nicholas?”
Nicholas bit into a donut. He could hear Mommy opening the door, and he sat back to enjoy his mouthful of warm, crispy donut.
Just as the front door opened, and Mabel stepped in, the cupboard door flew open and Nicholas tumbled out with a blood-curdling shriek!
He’d forgotten all about the rake, and had sat down on it again! And not only did Nicholas come tumbling out of the cupboard, but every hidden thing came tumbling with him, including a family of mice that had decided to move into the cupboard, too! And where should the whole tumbled mess land but right at Aunty Mabel’s feet!
There lay Nicholas with all his hiddeness around him-the telescope, the spectacles, the soccer ball, the wooden spoon, the moldy peas, the rotten muffins, the lost dolly, and on top of the lot, Daddy’s rake!
“NICHOLAS!” murmured Mabel.
“NICHOLAS!” moaned Mommy.
“NICHOLAS!” cried Karen.
“NICHOLAS!” gasped Granny.
“NICHOLAS!” demanded Daddy, “You had better come along with me!” All Nicholas’ hiding-ness had come out into the open. His cupboard was too full and couldn’t take another thing, not even a donut with a hole in it! Nicholas dragged himself up out of the mess with the help of Daddy’s firm hand on his shoulder. It was time for a Conference with Daddy, he knew, and his already aching end-for remember it was due to the rake that Nicholas was there in the first place- was sure to ache some more before too long!
After all was said and done (and there was a lot said and done that day), Daddy told Nicholas that he would have to clean up the mess, and sort everything out with everyone he had ever stolen and hidden from. That took Nicholas a good long time, because you will remember that Nicholas’ cupboard was rather a large one, and he had hidden a lot in it there over time. No one was very happy with him, but in the end Nicholas learned a very good lesson that we find in the Bible:
THINGS CANNOT STAY HIDDEN FOREVER!
The verse says: “Be sure your sin will find you out!” (Numbers 32:23).
The cupboard went to Aunty Mabel, who had a good use for it. Empty cupboards always become a problem if they are not filled quickly with good things. Nicholas was glad to see it go- he’d had enough of hiding places. He had decided that he was not going to be a hiding sort of little boy any longer, and from that day on, Nicholas never hid himself or anything else away in the dark again!