When my daughter was seven years old, she and I were on our way home from a children’s museum, where we had attended a St. Patrick’s Day story-telling hour about a leprechaun who does good deeds.
As we walked down the street, a man accidentally dropped some change on the sidewalk, and my daughter bent down to pick up a quarter for him. He thanked her kindheartedly and told her to keep it.
She held this special quarter on the bus all the way down to the train station. When she saw a number of people standing in the cold, asking for change, she decided to give her quarter to one of them. As she was about to drop it into one man’s cup, he said to her, “Thank you very much, but I don’t take money from children. You keep it for yourself.” I reached into my purse instead, feeling that no matter how much I gave him, this deed would be small compared to his.
Inside the station, my daughter soon found another needy person to give her precious quarter to. He thanked her with a smile and a “Bless you.” I told her how proud I was of her.
Ten minutes later we boarded our train, and my daughter walked over to a seat near the door. On this seat, in plain view of everyone who had just filed past it, was a shiny quarter, waiting for her.
I guess the leprechaun in the story didn’t care that we weren’t even Irish.