It was a beautiful day indeed but I was feeling very upset. I got up from my slumber and started looking for food. There was very little of it anywhere. A little while later my brother, sister, mom and dad joined me. Some kids from the neighborhood also came along. We began to scour the surroundings for leftovers. I have lived in this neighborhood since my birth and love the place. But the shortage of food always saddens me. Soon the people from different places would start arriving. They would go to see the Niagra Falls, some of them would take a ride on the boat called as “Maid of the Mist”. My grandfather told me that his grandfather told him, that the “Maid of the Mist” had never stopped since it began giving tours to people in 1846. I live in the adjoining park. It is lush green in summers but winters are horrible. Our community survives on the tourists left overs. It has been like this since ages.
The tourists are mostly rich, they dress in colorful clothes, eat at expensive restaurants and shop at the souvenir shop. I always envy them. But my mom tells me not to. She says we should be thankful to them, because our community survives on their leftovers. I observe them very closely and a time or two go near them just to see their reaction. The kids like to see us, but the adults prefer to ignore us. The tourists marvel at the water falls, the roaring sound that it makes and the boat ride. They smiled at each other, some cuddle, some kiss. Couples walk with hands clasped tight. Such a lucky lot they are to have so much.
So this particular day, one of them was having ice cream with nuts in it. I dared to venture very close to him. He looked at me with a smiling face, a face I can never forget. He must have been around forty, fair skinned, greyish hair, shiny eyes. Man, he was impressive. From the looks of him he seemed to be from some far off land. To my surprise he held out a nut from his ice cream and offered me some. I was surprised and a little afraid. For mom had on a number of occasions forbidden me from going near them. But something told me he was different. He stopped eating his ice cream and held out his hand for a very long time. I moved a little closer, trying to make out his intentions. Smelling no danger I gathered some courage and took a few tiny steps. He looked at me with a smiling face, not flinching an iota. Little by little I went near him and took the nut from his very fingers. Then I dashed with great speed and ate it. It was very tasty. Bugsy my neighbor looked at me with a surprised face. I winked at him and asked him to join me, but he wouldn’t dare join me. He was too sissy for such an adventure. Having devoured the dainty, I peeped at the visitor and saw him offering me more. WOW! I went near him and had a second go. After that it was unstoppable until I could eat no more. I saw him dump his melted ice cream in a garbage bin. I really felt very guilty. Such a nice man he was to have sacrificed his meal for me.
Suddenly I felt sad no more because a kind person had shared his food with me. It was not food, in fact it was love and kindness he had shared with me. The topsy turvy feeling suddenly disappeared and I felt lighter. To this day I remember him wondering if he would ever return again. Although he won’t be able to recognize but I certainly would. May be he will return. Yes, maybe.
Here’s a pic of the kind man feeding me nuts. And you can see Bugsy right behind me.