The Boy

Patricia Dischino, Brunswick Forest



The boy opened his eyes enough to realize it was a new day. As he sat up, a smile swept away the darkness of the night. A delicious aroma emanated from the kitchen. It was his birthday.

Entering the kitchen, the boy took little note of his mother’s shabby dress or the sparseness of their home. She stood as a guardian from a stressful world. After all, he was only a boy.

The woman, seeing her son’s joyful air, caught his enthusiasm. “Happy birthday, darling. How does it feel to be eight years old?”

“Not much different. What smells so good?”

“I made cinnamon rolls for you to share and a special one to eat right this moment. I’m sorry I have no other gift for you.”

The boy knew money was available only for necessities. At eight years of age, material possessions lacked great weight. He deeply felt his mother’s love. After all, he was only a boy.

“Leave a little early so you can give the rolls to those who are special to you.”

As the mother watched the boy leave for school, carrying his carton of goodies, she noted his jaunty pace. How could that small gift bring her son such pleasure? But, it made him happy. After all, he was only a boy

The boy lived in the city where laws were created that changed lives, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. He passed streets marked with expensive buildings that rose to the sky, while in other streets, like his own, the homes offered little. However, it was where he was happy. After all, he was only a boy.

The boy caught sight of the doorman of a costly condo. “Hello, my friend. How are you?”

“Thank you for asking, but my wife is ill and unable to work. Times are hard for us.”

“I’m so sorry. It’s my birthday. My mother made these rolls for me to share. Please take one.”

As the boy uncovered his basket, the captivating whiffs of the cinnamon rolls escaped. He handed one to the man with the drab uniform and solemn face. With a single bite, the serious expression disappeared. His eyes lit up and so did the buttons on his jacket.

“Oh, I know my wife will be much better when I get home. I feel so good. Have a wonderful birthday.”

The doorman opened the door for a man, formally dressed, with the exception of a protruding belly that refused to be contained by a belt. The well-dressed man turned to the doorman, complimenting him on how sharp he looked. “Is that a new uniform?”  The doorman was so flustered by the new state of his drab uniform, that he had trouble answering. 

He could only stammer a thank you.

The boy stepped closer to the man with the bulge of a belly. “It’s my birthday. Have one of my rolls.”

“I’ve just had a big breakfast, but I can’t resist your offer.”

After two bites, the well-dressed turned with a broad smile to the boy.  “Young man, I’m a senator. My colleagues want me to vote for a bill that would not be good for the country. I was afraid not to agree with their wishes because I thought I wouldn’t be re-elected. But for some reason, I don’t care. I’m going to do what’s right.”

The rolls made positive changes to all fortunate enough to taste them. The birthday child did not realize the power of the gift he shared. After all, he was only a boy