Wednesday, November 21, 2007

There's Hope Yet

A boy rode his bike up to my store today. I'd guess his age to be around 10 or 11. He came into the store alone, and barely acknowledged my greeting.

He turned to his right, and headed to the toy soldier section. I wandered over, to see if he needed any help finding what he needed- I knew some kids had a project for school, and had stocked Civil War soldier in anticipation.

I asked if he was looking for any type of soldiers in particular, he silently shook his head and stared intently at the bags of plastic warriors hanging. I walked back to the counter, leaving him to make his choice.

A few minutes later, he approached the counter with a bag of your classic Green Army Men.

"I'd like to buy these, please" - he said in a soft, quiet voice, the first words he had spoken since entering the store.

As rang up his purchase, I asked him if he liked army men and toy soldiers.

He nodded his head.

As I gave him his total, he pulled out a ziplock bag of loose change. He slowly counted his money, double checking his count many times, then slid exact change across the counter to me. I finished the sale, and put his army men in a bag, and thanked him.

As he went out the door, I called out "Take Care!" as I try to do with everyone as they leave the store. He said "Thanks", in a normal tone- his loudest yet. He got on his bike, and pedaled away.

As he rode away, I noticed he did not wear a helmet, or safety pads, or have a flashing warning light on his bike.

Man, there goes one lucky kid.