He was a filthy little urchin. Dressed in tattered over-large hand-me-downs, he was as dirty as any unattended and neglected 7 year old could be and he had a bad black eye. I asked him how he got it, he pointed towards his family. ” Your big brother?” I asked. He pointed to his mother. I changed the subject. Later a more affluent family came in eating ice cream cones. The little urchin got extremely close  to the young boy with the cone and  his eyes never came off that ice cream . It was obvious that he didn’t enjoy treats like this very often, if ever. Earlier, he had pasted himself to one of the musicians who had a bag of kettle korn.  Clearly, he had not been taught manners, personal space or much of anything, really.
 After eating half the cone, the affluent kid said he didn’t want the rest and handed it to his father. Realizing how badly the urchin wanted the cone, the father took  it and was offering it to the drooling  urchin. When his son saw the gesture, he insisted he wanted the cone back.  The dissappointment in that little urchin’s face was heartbreaking.  The little boy with the cone took one more lick and then deposited the remaining ice cream in a garbage can. I felt bad for both those little boys and in that moment, I had a glimpse into both of their inevitable futures.
Sometimes life has a way of condensing  an entire story into a snapshot, an encyclopedia of the human condition  into a single vignette.
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