We are honored indeed this week by a wee tale from the prolific mind of Suzy Stewart-Dubot. Suzy has written a thought-provoking vignette from Paris, but worry not, you needn't know how to read French. Enjoy.
Rue St. Honoré
by Suzy Stewart Dubot
"Look at that poor woman, Papa. Please give her something. She must be hungry."
The child sitting in the car with her father was upset by the old woman leaning on her cane. She didn't look clean and, in fact, everything about her looked grey. Her cloche hat and coat may have been brighter when new but now they matched her hair and skin.
The woman waited by the traffic lights until the red light required cars to stop. She shuffled over to them, left hand on the cane, the right held out begging. Guilt alone prompted each driver who stopped to give her change and sometimes more.
This was the poshest part of Paris, and she did well each day.
The regulars at the corner café watched her progress and guffawed each time she added money to her coat's pocket. They greeted her when she came in for a break from begging, asking her how well she'd done.
They were in the know.
She smiled when buying each one a drink in acknowledgement of their camaraderie.
She could afford to. She owned and lived in the luxurious building on the corner opposite the café.
She only begged from boredom.