the man who smiled
By Baker Street
The man who smiled.
There once was a happy man who always smiled. He had a dog named Rolly, and all day he and Rolly would play on the grass, and this made the man even more happy. So he smiled some more.
The children came past and saw the smiling man and his dog playing on the green, green grass, so they decided to join them. Soon, the man, his dog and the children were playing happily on the grass. The man smiled an even broader smile, and was even more happy.
And so they played; the man, the dog and the children, among the flowers and the trees. Among the birds and the butterflies. And the years rolled on, the one flowing into the next. And the dog grew old, very old, until one day he lay down quietly and breathed his last breath. The man grew very sad, and smiled less and less, until one day when he stopped smiling altogether.
The children didn't like sitting with the man who never smiled, next to the grave of his dog, on the green grass. Because when he was not smiling and sad, it made them sad as well, and they were too young to be sad for so long. So they moved on and looked for other people to meet and games to play.
They went to the market and discovered many new games to play among the shoppers, the shopkeepers, and the stalls. Sometimes they were naughty and angry shopkeepers would chase them off. But the market was very big, and they would just go and play in another part of it.
One of them, a little boy, saw a man at a stall, selling puppies. He asked the man; "Pardon me sir, how much are your puppies. The man said they cost seven silver coins each. The boy spoke to the other children (they were seven children in all) and they each contributed one coin towards the purchase of a puppy. They used their lunch money in order to do this. The boy paid the man and picked a puppy.
The puppy he picked was the runt of the litter, but was also the liveliest and cutest of them all. The children wrapped the puppy in a little red towel and ran off to where they always played with the man on the green grass.
The man was wondering about the grass with a serious look on his face and was not smiling at all, when they found him. They stood some distance away and greeted him. He acknowledged their presence absentmindedly. So the little boy came forward with the red bundle in which the puppy was concealed. Then he gave it to he man saying; "This present is from us to you.
The man took the bundle in his arms and opened it. As he did this the puppy barked in his face. The man's lips cracked upward, and yes, he smiled. So the puppy barked again, twice more. The man laughed, and soon he was a happy, smiling man again.
And the man who smiled played with his puppy and the children, on the green, green grass, for a very long time. Among the flowers and the trees , among the birds and the butterflies.