— Part I —
Once, when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets forthe circus. Finally, there was only one family between us and the ticket counter. I was impressed by this family. There were eight children, all probably under the age of twelve. Their clothes were not expensive, but they were clean. The children were well-behaved. They were standing in line, two-by-two, behind their parents. They were talking excitedly about the clowns, elephants and other acts that they would see that night. Obviously, it was their first visit to the circus. It would be a highlight of their young lives.The father and mother stood proudly at the head of the line. The mother was holding her husband’s hand. Her face said, “You’re my knight in shining armor.”
— Part II —
The ticket lady asked the father how many tickets he wanted. He proudly responded, “I’d like eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets. I’m taking my family to the circus.” The ticket lady told him the price.The man’s wife let go of his hand, and her head dropped. The man’s lip began to quiver. The man leaned a little closer and asked, “How much did you say?”The price was repeated by the ticket lady. The man didn’t have enough money. How could he turn and tell his eight kids that he didn’t have enough money to take them to the circus.
— Part III —
My dad saw all this. He put his hand into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill and dropped it on the ground. My father reached down, picked up the bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.” The man understood this immediately. He didn’t mean to beg, but he certainly appreciated the help. He looked straight into my dad’s eyes and took my dad’s hand in both of his. He held the $20 bill tightly and said, “Thank you, thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family.” My father and I went back to our car and drove home. We didn’t go to the circus that night, but we felt good.
Genius English Course I Revised (1998) より