I used to have a job as a telephone operator. All you had to do was dial 411 and you got me. 411 provides telephone numbers; however, many people think, "Gee! Information, they know everything about everything." I would get calls for, "Ya know dat girl? She live in a brown house on dat one roa? She my frien in ma class. She got brown hair." I would also get calls like, "Can you tell me how to make egg salad?"
Well, one day I got a call and it was around Christmas time. I said, "Directory assistance, may I help you?" There was a man on the phone and in a very lonely voice he said, "Ma'am, I need .... my cat needs some food." He sounded so helpless but I had to disconnect him. It was against the rules to give out anything other than phone numbers, so I disconnected him. He called back and by some miracle I got him again. And again, in his frail voice, he said, "Ma'am, please don't hang up on me. My poor cat ... she's so hungry. All I want for Christmas is for her to have some food. Please, miss ... please help me." What could I do? This poor man sounded so sincere. I had to do something! I quickly asked him for his address and took it down on a piece of paper. I told him I would see what I could do. I just knew I had to do something for this poor old man and his cat. I went to my supervisor and asked if I could take the rest of the evening off. It was getting dark out and it was starting to snow.
I left the building and went to the store. I bought a big bag of cat food, tied a big red ribbon on it and attached a card from Santa. I got the old man's address out of my pocket and went in search of his house. It was in a bad section of the city and when I got there it was dark and snowing. I walked up to the porch and crept up the musty creaky stairs. I set down the bag of cat food, rang the door bell and ran to my car and hid. I watched from my car as a wrinkly old man opened the door. The smile on his face when he saw the food and read the card was the best Christmas present I ever received!
Molly Melville - extracted from 'A cup of chicken soup for the soul', Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Barry Spilchuk, Health Communications, Inc., 1996
A good deed is something one returns - Guinea
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