At the end of each day, the old, worn out cobbler would come and give a little of whatever money he had made to the orphanage at the end of the street. He would move slowly but steadily into the office room of the orphanage. The lady of the orphanage, who took his deposits, never said anything; just the usual thanks were to suffice. The mischievous little boy, who always got called to the office, found this raggedy old man a very curious entity. Once he threw the ball at him, expecting an outburst, but the old man bent, took the ball, smiled and threw it back. He came every single day. His contributions were hardly worth anything, but he never stopped.
After making this routine journey, he would proceed walking home to a tent; he called home, on the outskirts of town. His load was heavy and his shoulders bent with them. Nevertheless, he carried on. A small fire built over collected twigs, and whatever little money from the day’s work could buy; putting some aside for the next day’s lunch, would be the dinner for the day. Many a day there had been without a meal, the stomach in turmoil, but the mind at peace. A long night would follow, wrapped in a thin, well-worn blanket with holes. Yet, the old man slept with a smile.
The next day is another long journey back into the city streets mending and polishing the shoes of those who were perhaps gifted with a better fortune. Work would be slow during lunch time. He would seek a quiet corner to take his lunch from the leftovers of yesterday out, wrapped in whatever piece of newspaper he would have found. Sometimes, one or the other street dogs would join him. A morsel was then shared. Work continued after lunch. The day dragged, slowly, but it did go on.
At the end of the day, the old man made his way to the orphanage at the end of the street. He moved slowly, tired, worn out, like the shoes he sometimes repaired. He put what he could spare into the hands of the lady of the orphanage. The mischievous little boy saw him again and bade no heed. He was no longer of interest when other distractions called. And then the old man made his long journey back.