After Mrs. Robin leaves,
Little Tom distinctly hears whimpering from behind a tree. "When did
trees begin to whimper? I guess when robins learned how to talk." He
"It's not the tree that is
crying. It is me, Jody, the hostler's son." To Little Tom's surprise,
from behind the tree appears the wretched sniffling boy. His
threadbare clothes are torn to tatters. His malnourished skinny limbs
stick out awkwardly from his body. His dirty brown hair is matted and
had a distinct smell to itÉ like horses.
"You sure are a hostler's
son! I could have guessed from a mile away, given that I stood
downwind of course."
This comment made poor
Jody cry even harder. "Take pity on me. I am a boy from the lower
class raised in poverty. I never had the opportunity to be educated
about books or morals like you genteel folks. I am always cold and
hungry, and now I am in pain. Take pity, sir!"
Something stirs inside
Little Tom's heart. He feels his chest expanding. Is it because the
boy has addressed him as "sir"? Maybe. Or is it the sight of the
starved and wretched looking boy fills him with a feeling he had
never felt before -- compassion.
"Is it possible? Can poor
people feel the same way that I do? This is a very interesting
discovery! What should I do?" Little Toms ponders.
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