Weekend Story- The Smart Shoe-Shine Boy
March 27, 2023
A man was walking across downtown Manhattan when he came across a shoe-shine boy trying to catch his attention. “Two dollars for a shoe shine, two dollars for a shoe shine.” The gentleman kept walking, not paying attention.
He crossed over to another street, and a more aggressive shoe-shine boy accosted him.
“Hey, Man, your shoes look like they need a makeover. Can I polish them? It’ll just cost you two dollars for a shoe shine!!”
The gentleman pushed past the boy saying- ” No, I am in a hurry. I don’t have the time,” and kept walking.
As he walked further down the street, he passed another shoe shine boy at the corner who was counting loudly – ‘ninety-seven, ninety-eight, ninety-nine, Hundred”.
Just as the man was about to pass him, the shoe-shine boy tugged at his coat and said, “Hi sir, today is my birthday, and every year, as a mark of gratitude to the lord, to the hundredth person who passes my stand, I offer a free shoe-shine. You are that hundredth person. Would you please give me the honor, sir?”
The gentleman was unable to resist the generosity of the young shoe-shine boy. “That is so kind of you. Surely, I can oblige you.”
So saying, he sat at the shoe shine chair and the boy polished his shoes lovingly and with care. Soon the boy had the gentleman’s shoes gleaming like a new pair- “thank you, sir, for allowing me to be of service. May you have a great day.”
The gentleman stood up, and just as he was leaving, he turned to the shoe-shine boy and asked him –“How much do you usually charge for a shoe shine.?’
“Only two dollars, sir,” the boy responded.
“Tell you what- It’s your birthday. Here’s Ten Dollars. Just keep it as a token of appreciation from my side.” The man handed over a crisp note.
The boy thanked the gentleman profusely.
As soon as the gentleman started walking away looking ahead, the shoe-shine boy started the count again- “ninety-seven, ninety-eight, ninety-nine……..”