Stories of Kindness from Around the World

I'll Give Him My Teddy Bear

--by wayfarer, posted May 25, 2008

Nearly thirty years ago I was a trainee engineer based in Liverpool. I was hundreds of miles from home, but I had a nice place to live, wasn't overworked, had a good bunch of friends and plenty of money in my pocket.

One Saturday morning I decided to walk into Liverpool city centre and buy myself something. I didn't need anything, I was just going to spend some money!  The walk was about four miles and took me through Toxteth, an area which two years later would erupt into rioting, largely because of the poverty of the place.

I stopped into a newsagents/general store to buy myself some sweets for the walk. While I was making up my mind the door opened and in walked this "ragamuffin". She looked like she might have been four years old (at the most), was wearing a summer dress and sandals even though it was a bitterly cold day, and she was not too clean.

She walked up to the counter, reached up and placed a fifty pence coin on the glass. Then, she proudly announced, she had saved this up for her little brother's birthday and she wanted to buy him a teddy bear and she wanted that one there.  The woman behind the counter told the little girl the teddy cost way more than 50p. The girl tried another one, and another one, and another one.

By this time I was engrossed. I knew that none of the bears on display could be bought for 50p. I also knew that I could easily buy the best bear there with the money I was going to waste that day - but did I want to encourage a little girl to take money from strangers?

While I dithered the little ragamuffin turned, the smile in her voice undimmed. "Oh well," she announced to the world. "I'll just give him mine then."

Her words echoed after she left. "I'll just give him mine," didn't sound like she was going to give him ONE of her teddies. She was going to give her little brother HER teddy, probably the only teddy she had!

I bet if I found the woman that little girl became she wouldn't even remember that day - but I do. Vividly!

Days like that can change the course of a life.

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Readers Comments

aokn wrote: Thank you for sharing! It inspires one to encourage our youth to organize a toy drive to share their previously loved toys and books with children less fortunate.
jojomcb wrote: a wonderfu memory, thanks for sharing............
Balasubramanian wrote: Woow... thanks a lot for sharing your emotional story, which makes me to feel me in that place.very nice and so thoughtful and toughty indeed!!!!
lovebug wrote: You seem to always be standing in the right place at the right time. Thanks for sharing what you see.
dazzle wrote: Thank you for sharing your observations with us. They are very moving.
pointoview wrote: Wow... a beautifull, never to forget story. What moved me the most was the fact that You didn't encouraged a little girl for taking money from strangers, very good and so thoughtfull indeed!!

You deserve a big HUG.
chzmzati wrote: thats a touching story.
thank you for sharing.
god blss you
EePee wrote: THANKS SO MUCH for sharing! Is'nt it amazing the experiences that stay in one's mind.
I wish you & yours the best.
shannanigans wrote: Such generosity is a treat, especially in someone who is so young and obviously has not too much of her own. Great story!
lmil1954 wrote: Wayfarer that was wonderful and to remember it all these years...those are things we tend to NEVER forget. God Bless you, you are a treat. Thanks for sharing this one and Happy 2008! Linda:)

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