Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beggar Kid

One day I was walking, innocently minding my own business when this little girl came running up to me. She was poor. I mean really poor. Bare feet, dirt smudged face, hair that hadn't been washed in a few days, tattered clothes--you get the picture. In her hands she was waving a blue beaded necklace that she had just made.

"Miss, you can have this for a dollar if you want..."

Sadly I had to reply, "I just spent my last dollar. I'm so sorry." (Not a cop out, I promise.) A little saddened, she ran away, shoulders slumping slightly back to her friends, sitting on the corner making more necklaces. I mind my own business and before I know it, she comes running back, necklace waving wildly.

"Maybe you would want it for fifty cents?"

Knowing that I didn't have the money, I started searching my wallet. Immediately her three friends from the corner came running up, each equally barefooted and dirty. I came up with twenty-three cents. Twenty-three cents.

They looked at me, looked at the money and said, "Do you want the necklace for um... that much?" I said, "Well, it's not even a quarter." But did they care? No. They snatched the money out of my hand, and ran off back to their mother, necklace still in their hands. So excited about twenty-three cents. "We made some money Mom! We made some money!"

Shaking my head I walked on, remembering that I too was once an entrepreneuing little girl. Sadly I got the feeling that our childhoods would be vastly, vastly different. Soon, the first little girl came back to me, smiling and said, "Silly me, I forgot your necklace!" and thrust it into my hands.

Anyone care to venture a guess as to where this happened to me? The answer may be surprising.

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