October 21, 2010
Perspective I
“Get out of here, you little orphan brat!”

Nobody ever told me what that word meant, but I think it’s probably something really bad. After all, the nice kids at the park always go away with their mommies and daddies after they hear it. Is it really that bad?
Am I really that bad?
I live on my own, and I find my own food. The big lady that used to take care of me and feed all of us left me here at this playground a long time ago, and I didn’t know anything back then. But now I take care of myself and find my own blankets and coins and even look for food in the big green cabinets! I can do everything really well.
So why do the grownups look at me with bad faces and make me leave their stores when I try to put my pennies on the counter and eat bread in return like the others do? I see the parents give other kids cool stuff and toys for letters on paper – I can do better than them out here, so why don’t I get something too?
“You don’t even deserve to live off the streets.”
Perspective II
“Get out of here, you little orphan brat!”
I’m constantly surprised by the extent of that street kid’s impertinence. I cannot believe he has the gall to enter my shop in those rags for clothes, those great daft puppy dog eyes on his smudged face and dump pile of scrounged pennies – dirty money – on my nice clean counter!
His parents were good people, of course, until the mother died giving birth to that spawn and the father went insane and murdered the wet nurse. Evil blood, I swear! When I discovered that he’d been living with the orphanage down the road I decided to be a good Samaritan and inform them of the monster they were sheltering, and they promptly realized the danger they were in and abandoned the brat at an old park a year ago. He must be six or seven at this point, the little rat. He’s certainly tall enough now, because every night I hear a rattling around my trash bins, and they’re definitely animal-proof.
D*** orphans, feeding off the town like dirty little vampires.
“You don’t even deserve to live off the streets.”
Perspective III
I’ve been watching this child for a while now. He’s a survivor, I think, the orphan that he is. The lady who own Newman’s Grocery down the road is a complete hag to the poor kid, and I heard that he was tossed out of the home only a year ago, but he’s been doing very well for himself, considering. He’s clearly never learned the monetary denominations we all live by, simply that those shiny things are worth food and if he gives them to one of the nicer shopkeeps he may receive it. He rummages around in the looming, dirty dumpsters three times his size because he can find nothing else, and he keeps an open mind when meeting new children even though most of the others have shunned him and parroted their parents’ ideals and rules to avoid him. He doesn’t deserve such treatment, not by far, and if only someone took it upon themselves to educate him to the ways of the world, he’d be able to keep moving forward instead of growing up illiterate and abused. He wants to, I think, he just doesn’t know how to articulate that want. He’s seen kids his age and older receiving great hugs and congratulations from their parents for getting big ‘A+’s on their papers, and I can tell he would do anything to earn such blessed treatment.
Well, why not?
I get up and walk over to where he’s sitting on the edge of the curb next to the playground. He’s been staring dismally at the swings for a while, as if afraid to venture over, and he gives a little jump when I near his little form.
“Hey, little guy, what’s your name?”
His sad green eyes widen before he blinks quickly and turns away. “Did the big lady tell you to come out and make me go away?”
I sigh, wondering who on earth could have kicked out such a young boy without a stain on their conscience. Extending a hand, I ask, “It’s okay, you don’t have to leave unless you want to. I don’t like her either, trust me.” He perked up at the last two words, so I took the initiative to continue. “I saw you sitting here all alone and you looked kinda hungry. Do you want to go get an ice cream with me? I know it’s still kind of cold out, but I always like dessert no matter what. You do know what ice cream is, right?”
His eyes widened again in the promise of sugar and he burst out childishly, “Yes! I’ve seen the others eat it with their grown-ups! I’ve never had any, though. And I don’t think I should go with you. Miss Eily told me not to go with strangers, one day.”
I pulled back my hand and sat down. “That’s good you know that, but for you almost everybody is a stranger and you have to take chances sometimes. Trust me, okay?” I said again. “I won’t let you down. I promise.”
I’m different.

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