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The morning light beamed through the windows of his quaint shop and intermingled with dust suspended in the air. It settled back into place quickly after he opened the door, which had sent the particles into a frenzy.
He tied on a white apron and went to work sweeping the floor, which he had already swept the prior evening. More dust flew into the air as the broom broke its grip on the floor. Just as he swept the last of it out of the back door, the bell dinged from the front door opening.
“Hello? Mr. Grazner?”
“Be right there,” he called to the front.
Just inside the front door was young Danny Gullsby. His untied oversized shoes swallowed his feet, and his clothes were covered in dirt. On the top of his head sat the shaggiest mop of a hairdo Grazner had seen in some time.
“Grandma says I have to visit the barber before I can play Army again.”
“Well, I should say so! Have a seat here, Danny.”
Danny plopped into the chair with a pouty face and folded arms.
“So, what’ll it be, Danny?”
“Nothing! I like my long hair!”
Grazner had met plenty of boys who didn’t like haircuts over the years, but none so vehemently opposed to the prospect as Danny. He noticed Danny trying to blink away a few tears.
“I’ll make a deal with you. Let me cut your hair real good, and I’ll let you see something very special, very secret, and you can’t tell anyone. Okay?”
Danny shrugged his shoulders, and Mr. Grazner went to work. He carved an outline around the ears and the forehead. Then, he took a straight razor and cut Danny’s hair close to the skin on the back and sides, blending it into an inch on the top.
He turned Danny to a mirror, and the boy began crying. Grazner shook his head and walked to the back room, retrieving something from his desk.
“Here, Danny, take a look at this.”
Danny opened his eyes to an extravagant golden medal with a blue ribbon.
“It’s the highest medal a soldier can receive… And here’s a picture of me receiving it from the President.”
“You… You have the same haircut,” Danny said with a grin.
“That’s right. You have to have this same haircut before you can earn this medal.”
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