plain ice-cream, please

This is a sweet little story that has made it’s way through the world of internet emails.  Perhaps you, too, have been the recipient at some point.  Regardless, it is a simple story that bears repeating.  It continues my reflection on living our lives to make a difference… even when that difference is just a tiny footprint on the world.

Many years ago, a 10 year old boy walked up to the counter of a soda shop and climbed onto a stool.  He caught the eye of the waitress and asked “How much is an ice-cream sundae?”  “Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.  The boy reached into his pockets, pulled out a handful of change and began counting.  The waitress tapped her feet impatiently.  After all, she had other customers to wait on.  The boy squinted up at the waitress and asked “How much is a dish of plain ice-cream?”  The waitress sighed, and rolled her eyes.  “Thirty five cents,” she said with a note of irritation.  Again, the boy counted his coins.  At last, he said, “I’ll have the plain ice-cream, please.”  He then put a quarter and two nickels on the counter.  The waitress scooped up the money, brought him the ice-cream, and quickly walked away.

About 15 minutes later, she returned and found the ice-cream bowl empty. The boy was gone.  As she picked up the empty dish, she stared and swallowed hard. There on the counter, underneath where the bowl had been, were two nickels and five pennies.  Even though that sweet little boy had enough money for a sundae, he chose to order plain ice-cream so that he had enough to leave her a tip.

And one final piece of inspiration for your tiny footprint… “That’s Why I Pray”.

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