Annie has made some hand-crafted weathervanes, and Zach is helping her sell them at the school crafts fair. There is such a demand for those weathervanes and Zach urges Annie to try and keep up. Her weathervanes are selling like crazy. With the money Annie raises, it will be spent to get new playground equipment for the school. Some of Annie's weathervanes have figures of her friends at Plato's Peak. Plato, Aurora, Sock, and Ari are so proud of Annie's sale of her weathervanes. But later when there are too many customers, Annie just couldn't keep up with building her weathervanes to sell. And so, she cuts a few corners to stay ahead of demand by using less screws than she normally used. She could only make two more. Zach tells the waiting customers that the weathervanes have sold out. The school principal is certain that Annie will make more next year, and Annie says she'll need to recover from her sale. At least she has raised plenty of money for the school. Even Annie's mother is proud of her, she makes her cookies for working hard on her sale.
Later that day, some of the weathervanes Annie sold begin falling apart. When the customers who bought them find out what happened, Annie is faced with an angry mob who demands to have their money back for being ripped off. Annie tries telling them that she did the best she could for a good cause. Annie runs toward Plato's Peak with Zach at her heels. Plato congradulates Annie for putting him and the rest of the gang on her weathervanes. Annie isn't sure if she'll be making anymore weathervanes to sell, and Zach is curious. Annie tries blaming Zach for selling them so fast. Had he not done that, Annie wouldn't have to make her weathervanes so quickly just so they'd fall apart. Plato asks Annie if she had cut some corners, and Annie admits that she has. Plato explains to Annie that cutting corners on her weathervanes is just like cutting corners on her own character. Plato is certain Annie has more integrity in her. When you have integrity, the things you say and do are reliable. If we don't have integrity, our work may fall apart. For example, lack of wire and screws may have caused some of Annie's weathervanes to fall apart. Even a loose nail may cause the king to lose his place on the throne.
In the story of For Want of a Horseshoe Nail, King Richard III went up against King Henry and his army. This story was also written as a play by William Shakespeare in 1485. The battle at Bosworth would determine who would be England's ruler. King Richard prepared for the battle just as the sun came up over the town of Bosworth. A blacksmith was ordered to put horseshoes on King Richard's steed, but he said he may not have enough iron for that. So, he did the best he could. The blacksmith didn't have enough nails after putting on three horseshoes. When the competition came around, King Richard's horse lost one of his shoes as Richard galloped toward the escaping soldiers. And so, King Richard's army fled and paid no attention to the king's command. Therefore, King Richard lost his army and his horse. "My horse! My horse! My kingdom for a horse!" Richard cried. Everything that belonged to King Richard, including his life, was lost. For want of a shoe, a horse was lost. For want of a horse, a battle was lost. For want of a battle, a kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
Zach learns from the story that if the blacksmith cared more for his work, he would've put the shoes on that horse properly and King Richard would've kept his crown. Annie finds that she gave up some of her integrity by selling too many weathervanes. Annie wonders if there could be a way for her to get her integrity back, and Aurora tells Annie that there's a way for her to regain it. Even a thief from another story learned that lesson.
The story of Charlemagne and the Robber Knight took place back during the reign of Charles I in the middle ages. King Charlemagne built a castle on the Rine River. However, he didn't get much sleep that first night there. Suddenly, an angel appeared in Charlemagne's room. The angel told the king to go secretly into the kingdom and steal, but the king didn't want to do it at first because it was wrong. The angel again told the king to steal from his own people. What could King Charlemagne do? He didn't want to disobey the orders of an angel. And so, King Charlemagne quietly got to the stable, got on his horse, and rode into the dark forest. Charlemagne was certain he'd do nothing wrong when he got there and tried to discover what the angel told him. Suddenly, he heard someone approaching him. It was a man named Elbegast. Charlemagne asked him why he came to the forest at such a late hour. Thinking Elbegast was a thief, Charlemagne Fought him until the thief retreated. Charlemagne then told Elbegast that he too was a robber and meant him no harm. And so, Charlemagne joined Elbegast to see what they could steal. When the two robbers came to the location, Charlemagne recognized where he was. He was at the house of Arnot, one of Charlemagne's most trusted ministers. As the two theives broke into the minister's house, they could hear Arnot talking about a plan for Charlemagne to be murdered. Elbegast knew at once that Charlemagne shouldn't be in the minister's house anymore. Arnot could hear the thieves approaching. And so, the two thieves escaped from that house. Elbegast told Charlemagne to ride to his castle and warn the emperor of the murder plot. But Charlemagne asked Elbegast if he could warn him himself. "Who would listen to a robber like me?" said Elbegast. Only an honest knight would warn the emperor. Elbegast rode away, and Charlemagne rode back to his palace still thinking of the angel's word. The next day as Arnot and his men arrived at the palace, they were in for a surprise. They were about to attack the palace when King Charlemagne stepped forward. "Is this how you respect your king?" asked Charlemagne. Arnot begged Charlemagne for forgiveness because of his men. Charlemagne's guards captured Arnot's men and sent them to the dungeon. Charlemagne then sends Aront to deliver a message to the robber, Elbegast. When Elbegast received the message, it read that he was to meet with the emperor. Charlemagne knows how Elbegast had done bad things in the past. But as emperor, Charlemagne thanked Elbegast for saving his life. Elbegast was forgiven for all the wrong he did, and Charlemagne gave him a fresh new start to his life. Elbegast was now devoted to being Charlemagne's loyal friend.
Zach discovers that in the story, the robber did a good deed by saving Charlemagne's life. Annie thinks that if a robber can fix his integrity, so can she. Selling second-rate weathervanes wasn't such a bright idea after all. Annie thanks Plato and Aurora for the stories. Zach asks if he can help Annie, but she says she'd rather do the right thing on her own. Plato, Sock, Ari, and Aurora support Annie for her integrity. And so, Annie helps the customers fix their weathervanes that fell apart.