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 said aloud.

"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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