A kind beggar puts a little girl’s interest above his and spends all his money to feed her after finding her lost at the subway station.
The next day, the girl comes to meet him and drops a special gift in his begging hat—a set of keys.
“Man, you should try singing in one of the city’s pubs! I haven’t seen somebody this good in a long time!”
“Better still, I have a friend in the music business. I’ll put you in touch with him the next time I see you!”
“Oh, thank you so much. Thank you, everyone!” cried Steve gratefully as the people in the subway applauded his performance. They didn’t know he had once wanted to be a musician, but things had turned out so bad that he was now a homeless man, playing accordion and singing songs for a living.
But as the saying goes, everyone’s life turns around one day. Albeit late, Steve’s moment came too…
One day, after his musical performance, Steve hurriedly packed all his belongings and decided to get off at the next stop and enjoy a meal with the money he had made. Luck had been a little too kind to him that day, and he’d earned more than he usually did.
As the train arrived at the station, Steve gathered his stuff and headed to the subway stairs, looking forward to a pleasant day ahead. He had no idea fate had other plans for him.
As Steve headed towards the stairs in a hurry, he dropped something and turned around to pick it up. Suddenly, he noticed a little girl, who didn’t appear older than 6, stepping out of the train, looking around in confusion, and crying. She was wearing two pigtails and carrying a bag on her shoulders, and there were no elders around her.
“She so young and alone. Is she lost?” Steve wondered as he looked at her and finally approached her.
“Hello there, little miss. Can I help you with something?” he asked her in the softest voice.
She nodded, still crying. “I – I lost my daddy. I can’t find him anywhere.”
“Oh, did you?” Steve sighed helplessly, looking around. “What’s his name? Or how does he look? I can help you find him.”
“Mommy calls daddy Andrew, but I call him daddy, and he is very handsome,” she said, and Steve nodded carefully.
“Alright, alright. So we are going to find Daddy Andrew pretty quickly! But before that, you must stop crying because no daddy likes to see his pretty daughter crying, okay?”
“But how will we find daddy? I can’t see daddy anywhere!” she said worriedly and kept crying.
The weather was cold, and Steve didn’t want to leave the girl alone at the station. He decided to take her to a nearby cafe and treat her to something hot and nice, thinking that would calm her and she’d be able to tell him more about how she got separated from her father. Then he would contact the authorities and let them know of the situation.
“My name is Steve, by the way,” he told her. “What’s your name? Would you like to have a delicious hot chocolate before we find daddy?”
“But daddy told me not to take anything from strangers! What if you are a bad man?”
Steve laughed. “But don’t bad people hurt kids? I don’t want to hurt you! I want to help you find your daddy!”
The little girl stared at him for a while, then nodded. “Okay. But we will come back soon. I love hot chocolate, but I need to find daddy too….”
“Sure, sure, miss. As you say,” Steve smiled.
At the cafe, Steve spent all the money he’d earned that day, knowing he’d have to go to sleep hungry that night. But somehow, watching the girl eat gave him the satisfaction that he’d done a good deed.
While little Mia devoured the burger and hot chocolate, Steve kept asking her details about her father. Thankfully, her crying had stopped, so she could properly share what had happened.
It turned out Mia’s dad had decided to take the subway to drop her off at school, but due to the intense crowd at the station, they got separated. She didn’t know what to do when she didn’t see her dad around, and she started to cry.
Though Steve now knew what had happened, he was still worried about how he’d find Mia’s dad. He thought about calling the cops but reasoned Mia’s dad would surely be looking for her at the station, so after leaving the cafe, he returned to the subway station and decided to report the incident to the authorities. But before he could do that, he suddenly heard an announcement over the intercom that Mia’s dad was looking for her.
“Mia! We found your daddy! Come on!” He scooped her in his arms and hurried to the announcement booth.
Suddenly, Mia started shouting and waving her hands. “Daddy! I’m here!”
“Hold him! He’s there! He’s trying to steal my daughter!” Andrew cried as he ran up to Steve with the security and snatched Mia from his arms. “How dare you touch her? Stay away from my girl!”
“Daddy!” Mia interjected. “Steve found you! Don’t be mad at him. He got me a burger and hot chocolate. Steve is nice, just like you, daddy!”
“He didn’t hurt you?” asked Andrew, confused, and Mia shook her head.
“He is not a bad man, daddy.”
“I might be homeless, but I am not a bad person at heart, sir,” Steve added defensively.
At that point, Andrew felt terrible for doubting Steve and realized he shouldn’t have accused him like that. In return for taking care of Mia, he wanted to reward Steve, but Steve refused to take any money.
“It’s okay, sir,” Steve said. “I’m just glad I was able to help. While I can’t afford much, I have a heart too. You don’t need to repay me.”
Before leaving the station that day, Mia waved goodbye to Steve, and Andrew thanked him again.
The next day, Steve was back in his usual position on the subway, singing his songs. As he ended his performance, he saw a little hand reaching into his begging hat and dropping a small box in it.
Steve looked up and smiled. “Mia?”
Thankfully, this time she wasn’t alone but with her parents.
“Hello there, sweetheart. What are you doing here?” Steve asked her.
“I came to give you a gift, Steve. You helped me, so I want to help you too. But there’s a rule: you can’t say no to my help!”
“Oh, is that so?” Steve laughed and picked up her box to open it.
He unwrapped the box and found a set of keys inside. “What is this?” he asked, confused.
“It’s your new home, Steve!” cried Mia.
“No way!” Steve’s eyes welled up. “Is this really…”
“You deserve it, Steve!” Andrew said, appearing behind Mia. “You’re a selfless man who helped my daughter. This is just a small gift. It’s a mobile home. My company specializes in these. I hope this will help you!”
“And it takes you to different places!” chirped Mia. “Good always comes back with good, Steve! My mommy and daddy taught me that! You did good, so you got good!” she added and hugged him, making Steve smile through his tears.
What can we learn from this story?
Good deeds are rewarded in surprising ways. Steve knew if he spent his earnings feeding Mia, he’d go to sleep hungry, yet he did it. And for his selfless act, Andrew helped him by providing him with a roof over his head.
If you see children alone, help them out. Steve was a kind man who jumped in to aid Mia when he saw her alone at the subway station. Due to his help, Mia was safely reunited with her father.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a grandfather who was gifted house keys by a stranger after he lost his home in a flood.