We often judge people within moments of meeting them. We assume we have them all figured out but there’s always so much more we don’t know. Appearances can’t show what a person is actually going through. A store clerk in this story learned the hard way to be kind to strangers. After all, little kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life, especially to a little boy whose mother is on her deathbed. This tale is inspired by an experience of a reader of AmoMama, where it was originally recounted.
Only a Pocketful of Change
Five-year-old Jake walked into a toy store and hesitantly looked at the merchandise. He picked a doll off the shelf, but he didn’t know where to look to check the price. He turned the doll over and over and eventually gave up and went up to Connery, the store clerk.
Connery immediately noticed the boy’s ragged clothes, which stood out in the clean and polished store. When Jake asked how much was the doll, Connery gruffly told him it was $25, eager to get the transaction over with. The unkempt boy was attracting unwanted attention.
But Jake confidently took a dollar bill and a few coins out of his jacket pocket and Connery laughed in response.
“Are you kidding? That’s not even two dollars. If you don’t have any more money, move along.”
However, Jake began to plead with the clerk. “Do you have any other dolls? I’ve been saving up and I need to buy a doll. It’s very important.”
“This is our cheapest doll,” said Connery impatiently. “If you don’t have the money, please don’t waste my time.”
When Jake started it to beg him again, Connery burst out, “How many times do I need to repeat myself? I’m sorry but you can’t afford it. Now please move along!” Then he took the doll from Jake’s hands.
The little boy stood there stunned, blinking back tears. He tried to speak again but he had no choice but to leave the store empty-handed. After he left, Connery rearranged the shelf and began to reflect on the encounter. Why did a little boy want to buy a doll so badly? Why did he say it’s very important?
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He ran outside to see if he could catch him and saw Jake talking with a police officer. Connery stood at a distance where the pair didn’t notice him but he could hear what they were saying. Jake was crying when the cop stopped him and asked his name and if he was okay.
Gulping for air, Jake said that he tried to buy a doll for his sister but he didn’t have enough money to buy it. The cop kindly responded that it was okay he couldn’t buy the doll. His sister would certainly appreciate her caring brother trying his best to get one for her.
But Jake replied that his sister can’t appreciate his efforts because she had gone to heaven two years ago. He added,
“She used to love dolls and I wanted to send one to her. My mother is in the hospital and the doctors said she was going to heaven soon too. I wanted to give my mom the doll to bring to my sister so she could play with it.”
Buying the Doll For His Sister
After hearing this, Connery’s heart went out to the little boy. He ran into the store, grabbed the doll, and brought it out to Jake.
“I’m so glad you’re still here!” he said. “I realized I told you the wrong price. This doll is on sale for $1 today.”
Jake immediately brightened. “Really? Can I buy it?”
“Of course!” Connery took Jake’s hand and brought him into the store where another employee was working the cash register. He instructed her to wrap up the doll in a gift box for the little boy. The cashier glanced at the child and at his handful of coins. “Are you sure?” she asked Connery.
He responded, “Of course! Jake has been saving up for this,” as he slipped $24 of his own money out of his pocket and placed it on the counter next to Jake’s.
When the cashier handed the box to Jake, the boy smiled brightly, holding the gift carefully as he left the store. The police officer offered to walk him home but Jake said he could go on his own. The joy on the little boy’s face was priceless and Connery felt sorry for all of the terrible things he’s going through. He wished he had been kind to Jake from the start but at least he was able to help in the end in the little way he can.
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- “Store Clerk Kicks Out Poor Little Boy Who Wants to Buy a Doll for His Dying Mom – Story of the Day.” AmoMama. Sonali Bharadwaj. November 23, 2021