24 February 2018

The Boy and the Orange

"During the darkest hours of the Civil War a tall, thin man with very long legs and a frowning wrinkled face walked along a Washington street. His eyes were fixed on the pavement; his lips were moving and he looked crossed.

"There was a ragged young urchin standing barefoot on the curb, his dirty hands clutched behind him, his lips twisting and his big eyes fixed on a pile of oranges in a vendor's cart. The vendor's back was turned while he made change for a customer. The tall man passed the boy, stopped suddenly, plunged his hand in his pocket and bought a large orange. He gave it to the boy and went on.

"The boy was grinning and had already sunk his teeth into the orange, when a passerby asked him if he knew who gave him the orange. The boy shook his head. 'That was President Lincoln,' he was informed. 'Now, hurry and go thank him.'

"The boy ran, caught the tails of Lincoln's long black coat, and as the stern face turned sharply toward him, the boy shouted, 'Thank you, Mr. President!'

"Suddenly that frowned face beamed into a beautiful smile. 'You're welcome, boy. You wanted to steal that orange while the man's back was turned, didn't you? But you wouldn't because it wasn't honest. That's the right way. I wish some men and women I know were more like you."

          - Source Unknown

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