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The candle (standard:Inspirational stories, 550 words)
Author: jopoguerreroAdded: Dec 08 2009Views/Reads: 3171/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Integrity in the eyes of a child

My brother told me this story. 

One Sunday afternoon, a man was about to attend Mass when a young vendor
suddenly approached and pleaded him to buy candles. 

The vendor was a scrawny boy, about ten years old, wearing a
sweat-stained shirt, and his eyes were teary probably due to fatigue or 
dearth of sale for the day. 

“Sir, please buy some of these candles,” the boy begged. “I need my
porciento for my school project. Please, sir?” 

Deeply moved by the boy's pleas – and since he has just received his big
bonus – the man took out a two hundred peso bill from his wallet and 
gladly gave it to the boy. 

“Oh thank you, sir,” glow flooded the boy's face. “So, how many candles
would you like to buy, sir?” 

“No, no,” the man explained. “I don't want to buy candles, child. I am
giving you the money for your school project. Just sell the candles to 
other churchgoers, so that you will be able to earn more for your 
school needs.” 

The boy fell silent. He painfully looked at the money. Then, he sadly
offered it back to the man. 

“Thank you, sir,” the boy said.  “But, I can't accept your money.” 

“My parents said that I must not take advantage of other people's
kindness,” he continued. “They said that, as much as possible, I must 
work for my own needs. I can't take your money if you don't buy my 
candles, sir. I will just try to sell them to other churchgoers.” 

The man was dumbfounded. 

He wanted to explain to the child that he has just received
fifty-thousand pesos as bonus – and that the two hundred pesos is not 
even half a grain in his large rice pot. He wanted to explain to the 
child that compared to the loads of money he has already poured on 
vices and caprices, a mere couple of hundreds do not bear any financial 

Also, he wanted to explain to the child that he is regularly receiving
salary and benefits doing nothing – just loitering or rumor mongering 
or snacking or girl watching or pretending to be busy. The man wanted 
to make reality stare down at the child – but the eyes of the child 
stared back brighter and firmer. 

“Okay, okay,” the man finally yielded. “How many candles would I get
with my two hundred pesos?” 

Cheer again crept on the boy's face. 

“Oh sir, you'll probably get all the candles I have,” the boy started
counting his candles. “I have twenty-five candles left – eight pesos 
each – all in all – exactly two hundred pesos. Are you sure you want 
them all, sir?” 

“I'm sure, child,” the man caringly received the candles from the boy.
“Actually, I think I need candles every week. Listen, from now on, 
supply me candles every Sunday afternoon – and don't say no this time!” 

The boy softly giggled in gratefulness. 

“I'll be very happy to sell you candles every Sunday afternoon, sir,” he
said. “Thanks and God bless you for your kindness!” 

As the man watched the child gleefully went on his way, he realized that
he really need candles to light his mind, his heart, his soul – and the 
young vendor was the brightest candle he has ever seen in his entire 
dark life. 


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