The Gift of Giving

“If one thing in the world never changes its the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. That my friends is why nothing ever changes. Greed is the single reason why humans are driving the Earth to extinction. I ask you what can you give? Giving a little food, clothing, unloved furnishing to charity makes a huge difference. A small donation makes your heart smile and may help someone in need. Go on give a little and smile!”

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
Pensitivity’s three things challenge – Kind – Possessions – Simple
AuthorWorld –  ‘The nobleman wasn’t like the others. He saw me scraping for scraps of food and gave me a half loaf of bread and an apple. I’ll never forget his kind words’
Word of the Day Challenge — Typical
Fandango’s One Word Challenge — Immutable

The Gift of Giving

The nobleman wasn’t like the others. He saw me scraping for scraps of food and gave me a half loaf of bread and an apple. I’ll never forget his kind words;

“You don’t deserve the life of a street urchin. You are a good young lad, keep fighting and I know a better life is waiting for you. In the meantime, a gift to help you on your way. Now, chin up, lad.”

With his words still ringing in my ears, I retreated from the cobblestone streets. My kind wasn’t welcome here. The police would arrest and beat me if they caught me in this part of the city. The simple fact was, this area and the market were the only places I could find food. So, I’d be back same time tomorrow searching for scraps again.

With my half loaf of bread and apple cooked in my arm, I made my way toward the park. I would feast there on my way to the slum quarter I called home.

The park was your typical public area of playing fields, gravelled promenades and a pavilion for music on the weekends; all surrounded by beautiful shrubs and bushes.  

I knew of a bench beneath the sycamore trees in a quiet part of the park. A place I could eat without drawing unwanted attention from those who would seek to drive me away. As I walked past the oak avenue towards the pavilion, I heard them.

“Please, Miss. My little sister and I haven’t eaten in two days,” Begged a young lad of no more than eight, his trousers and shirt nothing more than rags cleaning to his skeleton.

“I hungy,” the little girl offered in the most forlorn voice.

The children’s pleas fell on deaf ears. The woman lifted her nose and walked away. I watched the little girl rub her belly as her brother tried again with a rich-looking man in his top hat and tails suit.

“Please, sir. Just a few coppers to buy bread. Please, help —”

The man lashed out, catching the boy with a vicious backhanded blow across the face. “How dare you beg me. Get away from me you filthy, disgusting, boy!”

I was already on the move as the man raised the foot to assault him again. “The boy means no harm. You have no right to hurt him!” I yelled as I stepped between them.

“Maybe, it’s you I should teach a lesson to. I’d bet you taught these beggars how to make money from strangers, didn’t you?” the man’s face reddened as he rolled back his sleeves in readiness to fight.

“No, but if it is the only way they can eat, then they have little choice. I will not fight you. Take your riches and be gone, snob!”

The man huffed and raised his nose, “Fine! I’m going, I can’t stand stench around here this afternoon,” he said before stalking away.

“Thank you, sir,” said the young boy extending a hand.

I shook it with a smile. “I’m no sir. I’m a street urchin just like the two of you. May I know your names?”

“I Carrie, he Edwin,” answered the little girl.

“Nice to meet you, Carrie and Edwin. Come,” I beckoned them and began to sing,

“Walk a mile with me

Oh, the good things you see

One happy little sunset

A pretty princess in her parapet”

Pausing, I gently poked her nose drawing the giggle.

“You have a lovely voice,” said Edwin.

I nodded my thanks,

“Walk a mile with me

We’ll be home in time for tea

Let’s walk until the parish ends

Won’t you join me, my friends”

“We will,” Carrie said smiling at me as if I was some kind of magician.

I led them to my bench under the sycamore trees. A squirrel scarpered as we drew near. Mr Robin stayed on his branch to watch.

“Sit a while,” I offered with the pat of the bench. It was then I looked at the apple and the bread still cooked in my arm. What good are possessions if you don’t share them, right?

“What’s your name?” asked Edwin.

“They call me Rupert. Here,” I tore the bread into three chunks and gave the children the two largest bits.

“Edwin, we okay eat?”

The boy looked to his sister and then up to me for an answer.

“Go on, you eat every crumb. Enjoy it little one.” I ruffled her messy blonde hair as I ate some of my bread.

“Thank you, Mr Rupert,” Edwin mumbled through a mouthful of bread. He was scoffing it like a hungry dog and enjoying every bite.

“My pleasure,” I assured him as I took out a pocket-knife, I’d stolen from a market stall long ago. With a generous hand, I divided the apple into three. Again, I gave Edwin and Carrie the largest pieces. My own immutable hunger wouldn’t recede today. At least the children wouldn’t be quite so hungry. As I watched them eat the little food I’d possessed for all of twenty minutes, I smiled. The simple act of kindness shown to me by the nobleman provided me with food. I’d mirrored his generosity with the children and for that, I’d been rewarded a moment of contentment and happiness.

“Yes, giving a little is worth so much more.”

The End


Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerShort Stories. Short Stories 2. and Short Stories 3 tabs.

Have a great day!

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