A little girl in rags walks into an expensive toy store and everyone looks at her with suspicion, only the kind saleswoman understands her mission.
The minute George Tanakis saw that kid walk into the store, he knew she was trouble. First of all, she was alone, and kids did not come to the Toys Galorium Emporium alone, and second of all, she was poor.
It was a cold harsh day, but George could see the girl, who was around 7 or 8, was wearing a thin fall coat over two sweaters, a pair of jeans, and some summer-weight sneakers that looked worn out. She certainly couldn't afford any of the store's expensive toys. She was clearly here to steal.
The girl wandered among the store's heaped shelves looking for that one special doll | Source: Shutterstock.com
George immediately stepped in behind the girl and started to follow her quietly. A little further along, Miss Neander, the store manager, came up to him. "George," she hissed. "Did you notice that little thief?"
"I'm following her right now, Miss," he told her. "She's not stealing from us today!"
"Good!" said Miss Neander. "You have no idea how much we lose to shoplifters, and it's going to come out of our bonuses!" Further encouraged by Miss Neander, George started to follow the child all over the store.
Everywhere she went, her unkempt, ragged appearance drew unfavorable notice. When she was standing next to another little girl admiring the same doll, the other child's mother drew her daughter away.
The girl was on her own | Source: Unsplash
"Amy," she said sharply. "Stay away from that child. You don't want to get lice!" The little girl must have heard those unkind words because she lowered her head and tears filled her eyes.
She quickly turned away from the doll she'd been looking at and moved down another aisle. What was she looking for? George asked himself. The kid must have seen just about every single doll in the store, and she just kept shaking her head.
A kind gesture can mean more than you can imagine in a stranger's life.
From dolls that cost hundreds of dollars to a doll from the $1 bin, nothing seemed to be what she wanted. George wished she'd just hurry up and make her move because he was tired, his feet hurt, and it was nearly his break-time.
Then finally, the kid cried: "It's YOU!" and she ran across the aisle to a display of hundreds of dolls all exactly alike. They weren't even very pretty dolls, George thought -- kind of pudgy and flat-faced with big feet -- but the girl was delighted.
George was immediately suspicious and started watching the child | Source: Unsplash
She carefully took down one particular doll in her gift box and held her in her arms. "I found you," she said. "And now EVERYTHING is going to be just fine!" She was obviously going to make a run for it so George stepped up and took the doll right out of her hands.
"Just where do you think you're going, missy?" George asked in his big voice. The girl looked up at him and gave him a big wide smile.
"Hello. I'm going to buy this doll for my sister! I've been saving for a long time, and now I've found HER!"
"HER?" asked George, bewildered. "You lost your sister?"
It seemed the girl couldn't find what she was looking for | Source: Pexels
The girl shook her head. "Oh, no! My sister lost her doll, then she got really sick... That's why I have to buy it. So she'll be alright again."
"Oh." George cleared his throat. "Well, miss, since you're on a special mission, I will escort you to the cashier just to make sure nothing goes wrong, OK?"
The girl gave George another one of those big smiles. "Thank you, sir, that's very kind of you!"
George walked the kid to the cashier. "Hey Donna," he said to the saleswoman. "We have a special customer here. This little lady wants to buy a doll."
He handed Donna the doll, and she smiled down at the child. "What's your name, honey?" Donna asked.
Donna saw that the doll cost $25 | Source: Pixabay
"I'm Nora," the little girl said. "I want to buy that doll for my sister, please. I've been saving for six months now and I have a whole five dollars! It's a lot I know, but she needs the doll to get better."
Donna looked at the price sticker on the doll's box — $25. Then she looked at the sticky pile of coins and one-dollar bills in the child's hand. "Your sister is sick, honey?" she asked.
Nora nodded sadly. "For ages and ages now. She's in the hospital, and mom says she needs to keep her spirits up. So I thought...If I could find a doll exactly like the old one she'd be so happy!"
Donna looked away so Nora couldn't see the tears in her eyes. "Well, hun, you're in luck, because there is a one-time-only discount on this doll, and she's yours for $5!"
Nora took that special doll to her little sister | Source: Unsplash
Donna solemnly rang up the sale and slipped in a $20 out of her own pocket. Then she wrapped up the doll beautifully for Nora's sister. As the little girl was walking out of the store, Miss Neander came up to Donna.
"Did you just blow $20 on some ragged kid you'll never see again?" she asked scornfully.
"No," said Donna softly. "I just gave a little girl who needed it a taste of hope and faith in human kindness. You should try it!"
That evening, Nora's sister cried with joy when she unwrapped the doll, and for the first time in a long time, she slept soundly, hugging her beloved toy.
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