The Official Writing Challenge
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Very well written...and such a wonderful message. I liked this, nicely done.
God Bless you~
This is an interesting story. I can so picture the dad not saying anything. Many parents disagree over the best way to parent.

My biggest suggestion would be to show the reader the story. You did a great job telling it but I want to feel like I'm there. For example: Ernie stole a glance over his shoulder, he hunched over while his eyes darted around the store. He fingered the cards in his hand, turning them over while his tongue licked his lips.
These sentences describe Ernie desiring the cards, thinking about stealing them while knowing stealing his wrong.

Showing not telling is something many writers struggle with. Once you practice it a bit it gets easier. Nice message. I enjoyed the ending and think you did a nice job telling this story.
Be careful about using words such as No, and So, to begin a sentence. They are unnecessary and only clutter the story. Some parts of the story seemed out of sequence and I got confused.

Look for ways to add more descriptive wording that show the scenes rather than tell the story.

You obviously worked hard to write the story. Keep writing.
A great message and shows a lot of thought and hard work. We get 750 words for the Challenge and sometimes have much to say. It's a good place to learn economy of words.

You established that Ernie was stealing, so it wasn't necessary to add "without paying" at the end of the sentence.

Keep writing.
I really like your writing style. You kept me engaged the whole time. I was a little unclear on how this tied in with the topic, but it was good nonetheless. Great job!