Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Kids Who Rang My Doorbell

It was Halloween night. I had made a last-minute rush to the local supermarket to get some bags of candies, emptied them into a big glass bowl, put the bowl near the front door and turned on my porch light.

The doorbell rang. My first visitor was so small I had to sit down on my heels to talk to him. He was wearing a superman custom without a mask, for his dark glasses had fallen to his feet and each of his tiny hands was already busy holding an orange pumpkin-like lantern. He did not answer my greetings, just gazed at me with his solemn blue eyes, so of course I obediently stood up and put two fistfuls of candies into each of his pumpkins. The two ladies escorting him thanked me and led him away while my eyes were longingly following his small figure in the red cape.

Little Superman had started an unusually busy time for my doorbell. In the next couple of hours my porch was full of laughter, girls giggling and boys bantering, and I had to refill the glass bowl with more candies.

Gradually the doorbell sound became fewer in between then stopped completely. Only a few candies were left in the bowl. It was late, and I was thinking of turning off my porch light to signal the end of Halloween night as far as I was concerned. Then the bell rang again.

Waiting at my front door was a little boy in a wheelchair, looking pale and tired under the yellowish light. He uttered "Trick or treat" without much enthusiasm while his parents were anxiously watching him. I could feel the love and sorrow for their son emanating from the middle-aged couple standing aside in the dark.

I gave him my last candies, squeezed his hands and said "Have fun." I was startled to see his downcast countenance lit up with such a bright sweet smile when he said thank you to me. His parents gave me a grateful look and repeated their thanks, while I was still amazed at how little it took to give someone a happy moment.

Later that night I was still wearing a grin to bed because of the kids who had rung my doorbell.

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