When a child was stranded in the middle of nowhere and immediately realized taking the wrong bus from school, a stranger approached the crying little one to help.
The place where the bus stopped looked unfamiliar to the 7-year-old child. Confused, the kid looked around but couldn't identify the location.
Tears started to trickle down the kid's cheek while thinking about what to do next. There was no way the child could head back home.
OP (Original Poster) shared this terrifying childhood incident that happened a decade ago. It happened when OP was in 3rd grade. OP explained:
"Might sound unspectular but was probably the scariest moment of my life."
As a child, OP took the school bus for the first time in grade 3. On that first day, while going home from school, OP noticed fewer classmates sitting on the bus. However, the kid didn't think much about it and looked forward to going home.
OP noticed there were few children on the bus | Source: Unsplash
As the bus moved towards its destination, the child had no idea it had taken a different route or was going the wrong direction since it was the first time the kid had taken the bus.
After asking the kid what was wrong, am idea struck his mind.
OP was not familiar with the town too and it was too late by the time the kid realized the bus wasn't heading towards home.
The school bus was headed in the wrong direction | Source: Unsplash
As the bus stopped at a designated stop and all the children got off, OP kept seated, trying to recognize the town that seemed unfamiliar. The kid could have asked the bus driver about the location but chose not to. OP explained:
"[S]omehow I was confident that I could find some way home, so I left without asking the bus driver too"
The kid walked down the main road thinking it would lead home. But upon reaching the end of the street, the child realized things weren't right.
OP was walking on an unknown street | Source: Unsplash
Tears started trickling down the kid's cheek after being stranded in the middle of nowhere. The child had no idea how to get back home. OP explained:
"After an hour (probably more) I still didn't meet anyone, until I was actually in an area that looked like a town, at a bus stop."
Confused, the child approached an older man standing at the bus stop. After asking the kid what was wrong, an idea struck his mind.
An old man saw the crying child | Source: Unsplash
He asked an older girl to look after the child while he planned his next move. When the next bus arrived at the stop, he asked the children to get on the bus and gave the child some money to reach back home safely.
OP still had no idea where the bus was headed but trusted the older man's plan. The girl sat beside the kid on the bus as they waited for the bus to start moving. OP explained what happened next:
"After a while I finally arrived to a place that i knew"
The bus finally took the child to a familiar place | Source: Unsplash
OP saw police officers standing at the bus stop and two familiar faces next to them. It was the kid's parents who thought their child was lost. A police search had started after the parents filed a missing report.
The Redditor believed this incident happened because two buses were standing side-by-side. One bus went south from school while the other went north. But OP added:
"The initial [expletive] still came from my dad because he didn't tell me that there were actually TWO school buses"
OP didn't know there were two identical school buses | Source: Unsplash
The child ended up on the opposite side of the city after taking the wrong bus. If the older man wasn't there, OP believed things could have ended in a disaster.
Botboy141 shared a similar incident from his childhood when he got lost in the woods. He found himself 10 miles away from his family.
Experts suggest the best thing to do while preparing your child for times like these is to make them memorize your full name, contact number, and address.
They also advise parents to teach their children to ask for help from strangers without getting into trouble. Asking questions like "What would you do if your parents aren't around?" might also help children understand how to handle such situations.
Experts advice parents to talk to their children | Source: Unsplash
Questions to Ponder:
Do you think OP's parents were at fault?
OP believed it was the parents' fault because they didn't convey the truth. The child thought there was only one bus and took the wrong one. If the parents told the child that there were two buses, they wouldn't have had to call the police to look for their missing child.
Did OP make a mistake by getting off the bus and walking on an unknown street?
OP got off the bus and started walking on an unknown street, not knowing where it would end. Do you think the child could have gotten into trouble? Some people might agree that the man was kind enough to guide the child to get back home. Not every stranger thinks like that.
If you enjoyed reading this story, you might like this one about a man who discovered some pages were missing from his late aunt's will. He rushed to the notary to find a surprise waiting for him.
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