There were many people at the bus stop. School was over, and the children were waiting for their bus. There were also big people waiting there.
Some of the big people were reading newspapers while others were talking. The children were laughing and playing. Everybody was doing something to forget how long it was taking the bus to come.
But nobody was paying attention to the old woman who was asking for bus fare. “Please somebody help me with a bus fare,” said the old woman, over and over again.
After a while, Willy came to the bus stop to take the bus. His school was over, and he was going home. He soon heard the voice of the old woman asking for a bus fare. Will saw her standing and holding out her hands. But he could see that no one was paying any attention to her. Everybody was talking, reading, laughing, or playing.
Willy stood there looking at the old woman. She was very old and held her back with one hand. He was sorry for the old woman. She looked too old to walk very far.
“One day I will be very old too,” thought Willy, “and I might need help like this old woman. Will people help me when I am old?”
Will stood there for a while looking at the old woman.
“I wish I could help her with a fare,” thought Willy, “but I only have my own bus fare.”
After a long time the bus came. Everybody ran to the door and pushed. They nearly pushed down the old woman as she held out her hand.
“Will someone please help me with a bus fare?” said the old woman as everybody pushed to get into the bus.
Willy wanted to go into the bus. But when he looked back at the old woman, he could not move. Everyone was leaving her at the bus stop. He felt very sorry for her.
Then Willy thought quickly, “She cannot walk very far. She is too old. But I am young and strong. I cannot be like the others who are not paying any attention to her. If I walk, I will soon reach home. It would be fun , too.”
Nearly all the people had gone into the bus. Willy walked over quickly to the old woman.
“Here is a bus fare, Miss,” he said. “Come quickly, and let me help you into the bus before it moves off.”
Willy held her hand and followed her to the door of the bus. As she sat down, she looked back and smiled.
“May God bless you, my son,” she said. “May you live and never want.”
The bus bell rang, and the door shut. Then the bus moved off, leaving Willy standing alone at the bus stop.
Will started to walk home. He walked on the back roads. This way his walk was not very long. Soon he was home.
Many days passed and Willy had almost forgotten about the old woman. One day he wanted to reach home early, So, after school, Willy ran quickly to the bus stop. As he ran, he saw a bus. The people at the stop were getting into the bus. He did not want it to move off and leave him. He ran and jumped into the bus so quickly that he forgot to look at the number.
After riding for a while, Willy looked out of the window. He was that the bus was driving on a road he did not know.
“Oh! I must be on the wrong bus,” Willy said to himself. He quickly rang the bell and got off at the next stop.
“Now I do not have any money to take another bus,” said Willy. He started walking down the road. He did not know where he was going or how he would get a bus fare.
Soon he came to a market. “I must go into the market and ask somebody to tell me how I can find my way home,” he thought.
So he walked into the market and looked around. He saw an old woman and a boy selling fruits in a corner. The woman was sitting and looking down into her basket.
Willy walked over to the old woman and the little boy. “Please, Miss,” he said, “Can you tell me how I can get to White Road?”
The old woman looked up at him slowly. To Willy’s surprise it was the same old woman he had helped at the bus stop.
“But wait!” she said. “You are the little boy who helped me one day at the bus stop. You were the only one who paid me any attention.”
“Yes,” said Willy. “How are you?
“I am OK,” said the old woman. “And this is my grandson, Albert. He helps me with my fruit basket.”
Willy and Albert looked at each other and smiled.
“What are you doing here?” said the old woman to Willy.
Willy began to tell her how he had taken the wrong bus and had to get off. He told her he did not know where he was and that he had no more bus fare. He wanted to know where he could walk to go home.
“Oh! I see,” said the old woman. “Well, here is enough money to take two buses home. Albert will follow you to the bus stop to catch the first bus. He will tell you where to get off to catch the other bus you need to get home.”
Willy did not know what to say. After a while he smiled. “I did not know I would ever see you again, Miss,” he said.
“Yes, Son,” said the old woman, “that is how life is. If you do good in life, good will follow you. Here are some fruits. They are very sweet.”
Willy was very happy that he had done a good thing. He did not dream that one day the same person he helped would be the one to help him.
Will thanked the old woman and said good-bye. Then he and Albert ran off to the bus stop.