A little boy selling magazines for school walked up to a house that people rarely visited. The house was very old and run down and the owner hardly ever came out. When he did come out he would not say hello to neighbours or passers by but simply just glare at them.
The boy knocked on the door and waited, sweating from fear of the old man. The boy's parents told him to stay away from the house, a lot of the other neighbourhood children were told the same from their parents.
As he was ready to walk away, the door slowly opened. “What do you want?" the old man said. The little boy was very afraid but he had a quota to meet for school with selling the magazines.
"Uh, sir, I uh am selling these magazines and uh I was wondering if you would like to buy one." The old man just stared at the boy. The boy could see inside the old man's house and saw that he had dog figurines on the fireplace mantle. "Do you collect dogs?" the little boy asked. "Yes, I have many collectibles in my house, they are my family here, and they are all I have." The boy then felt sorry for the man, as it seemed that he was a very lonely soul. "Well, I do have a magazine here for collectors, it is perfect for you, and I also have one about dogs since you like dogs so much." The old man was ready to close the door on the boy and said, "No boy, I don't need any magazines of any kind, now goodbye."
The little boy was sad that he was not going to make his quota with the sale. He was also sad for the old man being so alone in the big house that he owned. The boy went home and then had an idea. He had a little dog figure that he got some years ago from an aunt. The figurine did not mean nearly as much to him since he had a real live dog and a large family. The boy headed back down to the old man's house with the figurine. He knocked on the door again and this time the old man came right to the door. "Boy, I thought I told you no magazines."
"No, sir I know that, I wanted to bring you a gift." The boy handed him the figurine and the old man's face lit up. "It is a Golden Retriever, I have one at home, and this one is for you." The old man was simply stunned; no one had ever given him such a gift and shown him so much kindness. "Boy, you have a big heart, why are you doing this?" The boy smiled at the man and said, "Because you like dogs."
From that day on the old man started coming out of the house and acknowledging people. He and the boy became friends; the boy even brought his dog to see the man weekly.
This simple gesture changed both of their lives forever.