Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Kindness of Little Strangers

Last night, I had some unexpected Christmas shopping to do. I wasn't too thrilled about heading out to the mall on the day before Christmas Eve, but I was excited to find just the perfect present.

I have a friend, an illustrator and an artist, who wrote a children's book. I helped him with the writing part and now all he has to do is get his tush in gear and illustrate it. But he has lots going on in his life with a wife and three kids and extracurricular activities galore. So since his story involves zoo animals, I decided to buy each animal in the story as a gentle reminder for him to get it done.

When I got to the hobby store, I found they had a huge bin of animals with little tubes that you could fill. There was a young boy, probably a little younger than my daughter, who was eagerly combing through the animals. When I started searching for the animals, he said, "You can fill a whole tube for $5!"

I replied, "Wow, really? That's a great deal."

So I started to dig through the assortment of plastic animals. There were lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), and bugs and dinosaurs and giraffes. But I really needed an alligator or a crocodile. I decided to ask the little guy if this animal assortment had alligators.

"I'd be real surprised if they don't," he said (very wisely, I might add.) I agreed. We kept digging. Then he looked up at the sign above the bins and pointed. "Look! There's a crocodile up there! There's sure to be one in here."

So we kept digging. And digging. I found all the other animals I needed, but I couldn't find a crocodile. The little boy's dad told him it was time to go. I thanked him for all his help and he said, quite wisely again, "You're quite welcome."

I kept digging for the crocodile. No luck. When I'd given up and decided my gift would have to do minus the alligator/crocodile, I started walking toward the front of the store. Suddenly, the little boy ran toward me and said, "I found one! I found a crocodile!"

"You did?" I said.

"Yeah! Up here!"

He showed me right where the crocodile was and again, I thanked him, and also told the little boy's father what a very nice young man he had. He smiled and said thank you. I hope I made his evening. :-)

So I went home with all my plastic animals in tow, incredibly grateful for the kindness of little strangers.

Merry Christmas!


  1. Melissa, what an awesome story. Your kindness of gathering the last minute gift to inspire your friend begat a kindness. And as the Hokey Pokey song says, "Dat's what it's all about!" Blessings and a great Christmas/New Year. I feel lots of good writerly news coming in 09!

  2. Melissa, that's a great story! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. Great story, Melissa.

    Hope your first Christmas in your new home is filled with joy


  4. What a lovely story.

    Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. x

  5. Aw, what a lovely story, Melissa. What a kind thought to collect the animals for inspiration for your friend. He's no excuse now. :o)

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. How lovely! What a wonderful experience.

  7. Nice story Melissa, Merry Christmas :)

  8. Oh, that is so sweet! Merry Christmas, hope you have a great one!


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