Pedro Vasquez stood on the sidewalk for a long time, a couple of dollar bills in his hand. In front of him was an ice cream shop, and he was anxious to buy some ice cream, but he was worried about whether he could afford it.
However, the boy walked into the store, approached the salesman and held out the dollar bills through the glass window toward him.
“Can I buy anything with these? Any flavor of ice cream would do,” he said.
The salesman frowned.
“That’s all you got, kid, two dollars?”.
Pedro nodded and the salesman sighed.
“Sorry, but you can’t buy anything with that. Besides, it’s closing time, so come back tomorrow with enough money, okay?”
“Please don’t,” the boy pleaded. “I NEED IT. Can you give me something?”.
“Look, kid, it won’t be possible! Now, go away,” said the man shooing Pedro away.
At that point, a group of kids eating ice cream began to tease Pedro because he couldn’t afford it.
“Hey, would you like to have my ice cream? I just licked it twice – it’s a great deal for only $2!”.
He burst out laughing and another boy joined him.
“I don’t understand why scoundrels like him are allowed to shop at the same stores as the rest of us. Why don’t you go back to your poor neighborhood and buy ice cream at an inexpensive place?”
The ice cream vendor, Juan, noticed that the children were teasing Pedro, but there was nothing he could do to help him. His boss would scold him if he offered free ice cream to anyone. So he quietly closed the store and went home.
Meanwhile, Pedro’s eyes filled with tears when the children teased him, but he said nothing to them. He simply wiped his tears with his sleeves and ran off.
On his way home, Juan passed through an alley and, by coincidence, saw Pedro again. But the boy was not alone. He was with a little girl and the man heard him apologize to her.
“I’m sorry, Laura,” he said. “The money Mom gave us wasn’t enough for ice cream, but I promise I’ll buy you some next time. Your next birthday will be great!”.
But the little girl was not satisfied with her brother’s explanation.
“But I wanted ice cream,” she said with teary eyes. “You promised you would buy me…”.
“I’m sorry…,” Peter said with his head hung low looking down at the floor, embarrassed. “Let’s go home. Mom must be waiting for us.”
As Juan listened to their conversation, he remembered his past. As a child he was in the same situation as Peter. His family was poor and could barely afford one meal a day.
He used to tell his older brother, David, how hungry he was after eating that meal. So the older brother took a part-time job in a restaurant to make sure his little brother never went to bed hungry.
David’s boss at the time was a nasty man who would scold him and even beat him if he made a mistake, but he wouldn’t quit the job because he had promised his little brother that he would never go hungry again.
Seeing Peter and his little sister made the man realize how similar their circumstances were to his own, and he couldn’t hold back the tears. He knew he had to help them! So he wiped away his tears, took a deep breath, and approached the children….
“Ah, it’s you!” he exclaimed as he approached them, pretending that he had met them by chance. “Aren’t you the same boy who went to the ice cream store a while ago?” he asked Pedro.
The boy nodded.
“Yes, and you said you couldn’t sell me anything, so why are you wasting your time now? We’re leaving now.”
” Oh, boy,” Juan laughed. “Didn’t I tell you to come tomorrow? Wait, I guess you misunderstood me! I meant, you can come to the store tomorrow and I’ll buy you an ice cream! That’s what I meant!”.
Pedro was confused. He remembered that the salesman had clearly told him to come to his store only if he had enough money. However, little Laura was excited.
“Yes! We can have ice cream tomorrow, Pedro! Yay!” she said jumping up and down with joy.
Juan pulled Pedro aside and whispered to him.
“Come over tomorrow. There’s a little surprise for your little sister.”
The next day, when the children arrived at the ice cream store, they couldn’t believe their eyes. The ice cream shop was decorated with big balloons and looked beautiful.
Juan gave them a tour of the place, taught them how to make ice cream and offered them different flavors for free!
The children were delighted and thanked the man, who had tears in his eyes as he saw the happiness on their faces.
“You’re doing an amazing job as a big brother,” he told Pedro while Laura was busy devouring a strawberry ice cream. “You should be proud of yourself…”.
When the little ones finished their ice cream and were leaving, Juan gave them a tub of ice cream.
“Enjoy some with your family too and come back for more!” he said.
At that moment, the children who had teased Pedro returned to the store. They were surprised when they saw the boy holding a large tub of ice cream.
“You begged him for that?” said one of the boys laughing mockingly. “We know you could never buy it, loser!”.
At that moment, Juan walked out of the store with his hands on his hips.
“And what makes you think that? HE’S A SPECIAL VISITOR. He deserved it, that’s why he’s holding it in his hands now.”
“And you guys clearly don’t deserve to be given anything good. You made a mockery of him, so get lost. I WON’T SELL ANYTHING TO YOU BRATS!”.
“Go home, Pedro. Your mom must be waiting for you,” Juan said, turning to the boy and his little sister.
The little boy waved goodbye and went home happy with Laura.
Deep down, Juan knew that his supervisor would reprimand him for giving free ice cream to the children, but he already had a plan to avoid it.
He decided to pay for the ice cream out of his own pocket. After all, there is nothing like the happiness of helping someone in need and making their day! Juan knew this well and felt incredibly delighted after helping Pedro and his sister.