Last week Nicholas found Henry scrambling in the snow after being attacked by three neighborhood boys.
Kneeling, Nicholas helped the boy to pick up the pieces of his wares. The remains of six pencils, worth so little to most, but he suspected that the three pennies they represented meant the world to Henry. His brother was strong and intelligent and able to take care of himself. What else but the pencil selling could this poor boy do to feel of some use to his family?
“I don’t understand.” Henry said as Nicholas helped him up. “I never did anything to them. Three whole pennies.” He said sorrowfully.
It was more than Nicholas could stand to see the poor boy so defeated.
There is a bit more below, if you'd care to read on. Looking forward to reading everyone's snippets.
“Henry, I was hoping to buy some pencils from you. Would you let me have these? I’ll give you the full three pennies.”
He could see the boy’s mind working, and confusion on his features. That bruise was beginning to look bad.
“That doesn’t seem right, sir. They’re broken.”
“I know, but, I think I have a use for broken pencils.” That wasn’t strictly true, but he was certain he could find something to do with them. And he very much wanted to make Henry feel a little better.
“If you can use them…” Henry was thinking so hard, it was almost painful to watch him. “Alright. You can have them for three pennies.”
“Thank you.” He took the pencil pieces and put them in his pocket, giving Henry his pennies in exchange. Now to get the boy safely off the streets. “With your wares all sold, I suppose you’ll be heading home. Do you live nearby?”
Henry nodded, counting his pennies and then putting them in his pocket. “One block that way.” He pointed. “Mother doesn’t like me to go too far from home, in case she needs me.”