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Amado has always been a very sweet and giving person, even though he was raised in an orphanage and eventually had to run away from it. But when a "poor" mother learns of his kind ways, she asks for his help. Is she really a needy woman, or she taking advantage of sweet and senitive Amado? This is a good story to use for teaching children that "The Heaviest Burden is an Empty Pocket."

Submitted:Jun 3, 2010    Reads: 53    Comments: 2    Likes: 2   

Once in a place with abundant water and beautiful mountains as far as the eye can see, in a simpler time then we have today, there lived a man named Amado. The wonderful place he lived in was called Mexico. Amado had been an orphan since the day he after his birth. His parents had loved him dearly, but they were forced to give up their precious child. The government had claimed that their shelter, a humble, run-down shed meant to hold no more then a few gardening tools, was an unacceptable place for a child to live. So they took baby Amado, whose real birth name is unknown to this day, and brought him to an orphanage. The workers there gave him the name Amado which means beloved, because they had heard of how his parents had love him so. He was a beautiful child, but no one in the small village could afford another mouth to feed. So Amado grew up in the orphanage for 7 years. When he could bear it no longer, he snuck away in the middle of the night and ran into the dark, not knowing where he would end up.
"Eggs for sale! Whitest in town! Get 'em before their gone!" cried a man with a basket of ten eggs or so.
"Donkey rides! Take 'em wherever you please! Cheapest you'll find around here!" cried another seller, this one standing in front of a stable with 5 donkeys in it.
"Freshly cut flowers! Get them and give them!" a third person, this one holding a huge bundle of flowers, exclaimed.
These are the sounds that Amado woke up to the next day. He had been running for quite some time the night before and he had stopped to rest in an alley way. He now opened his eyes, looked up at the sky, and for the first time that he knew of, he smiled. Yes, he was happy that he had made it out of that dreadful orphanage that made him feel like a prisoner all those years, but Amado was smiling because he had come up with a plan. He slowly got to his feet and made his way over to the man selling eggs.
"Morning mister" he said, almost smugly.
"Can't talk kid, gotta sell" replied the egg man. He was usually much harsher when he was trying to sell and people, especially kids, were distracting him. But Amado was such a handsome fellow that something in his heart wouldn't let him scold this boy.
"Well I'm buying" Amado stated happily and triumphantly.
The seller stopped in his tracks.
"Are you now? Well, have you got the money? What's your offer?" the seller questioned.
Amado bargained with the man until they settled on a deal. The eggs were paid for with money stolen from the orphanage. But Amado hated that place so much; it didn't hurt him when he spent the pesos. Now he took the basket from the man and walked with the crowd. Amado found just what he was aiming to find when he did this- homes. He looked over the gates and through foliage to see what kinds of animals the people had. Finally he found a farm with no chickens. Amado went up to the door and knocked. A kind looking woman answered the door.
"Well hello there little boy! Is there something I can do for you?" see asked, smiling all the while.
"Hello miss. I was just wondering if you would be interested in some of these fine eggs I've got here" Amado stated, holding up the basket.
"Well now, let me see" the woman said. She looked in the basket and pushed the eggs around slightly to get a good look at each one. Amado gave her the sweetest face he could make.
"These eggs do look dandy. Could you sell them for 5 pesos?" the kindly woman questioned.
"Well, I was hoping for more, but I suppose since they are going to such a nice lady, I could sell them for that" Amado said.
That was Amado's first of many buying's and selling's. He did this type of
thing until he was 15. He had now earned enough money to go out and buy a small farm. However, Amado's sales did not stop there. He continued buying and selling all he pleased. But one day, while he was at the Market Place, a beggar woman and two small children came up to him.
"Please sir; we have seen what you do. You buy things from one and sell them to another for more. That is a wise thing to do. Surely you must have money to spare" the woman begged.
Her children, one boy about 8 and a girl about 5, stood behind her looking at the
ground. All 3 were dressed in ragged clothes. Amado could not help but give them the pesos he had earned that day.
"Too kind. You are much too kind" the woman said, smiling and thanking him.
Amado felt good about giving to people who were in need. Now every time he saw that family of 3, he gave them large sums of money, more then he could afford. He knew he had to pay to provide for himself as well, but he was too caring to not give these people all that he could. One day, however, when he went to give to the woman, he realized she was crying.
"What's wrong?" Amado inquired.
"They want to take my children! Oh, I simply can't bear it!" the woman cried.
Amado's past flashed before his eyes. He had not thought of the orphanage for a while now. But that only made seeing these memories worse. He quickly had an answer for the woman.
"I will get some things that people are in need of for you to sell. Surely you could sell them for more if you tell people about your situation. Just whatever you do, don't let anyone take your children!" Amado exclaimed.
The woman promised him this and thanked him more then she ever had. She appeared to be truly thankful and in need of what Amado was providing… but was she?
Amado was a caring and giving man, but he could be sneaky when he needed to. He managed to steal several apples, bananas, carrots, beans, eggs, fish and bread. He also obtained some flowers, blankets and pottery. By the time he had this all nicely set up in a basket, it was dark outside. Amado planned to leave as early as possible so the family could sell these goods right away. He got up at the crack of dawn, dressed and was off to the Market Place by 7:00.
Amado lived rather far away from the Market Place, and today he was in a hurry. So he took the short cut through the meadow. While he was walking on the path, he was lost in his imagination. He was thinking of how happy he would make the poor family. While Amado was lost in his imagination, he failed to see what was right in front of him- an old well. Not paying attention, he tripped and fell inside of it.
When he opened his eyes he was laying on the grassy ground of the meadow. For a moment Amado figured he must have hit his head on the hard stone floor of the well, and he was now hallucinating. But when he sat up he saw two ghostly figures before him. Amado did not even have to question them to see who they were, he could just tell. These two people before Amado were the ghosts of his parents!
"Amado, look into the well. Look into the well, my son" the two said in unison.
Amado did as he was told. He got up and leaned over the top of the well to get a good look at the inside. There he saw something magical. He was looking at the family he had been giving money to all this time. Amado reached out to touch the woman, but his hand went right through her. He looked up at his parents, as if to say "What is going on?"
"What you see in the well is not real, Amado" his mother told him.
"Those are not the real people you have been giving money to, it is only an image" his father explained.
"Look closely and you will see the truth" the two said at once. After that was stated, they vanished before Amado's eyes.
He wanted to call out to them, but he didn't. He could feel their presence.
Amado knew they were still there. Slowly, Amado walked over to the well and looked inside once more. What he saw shocked him. The scene before him showed what had been bought with the money he gave the family of 3. They were not poor at all! All of his money was just more for them to spend on foolish things. They lived in a deluxe farm, with dozens of animals, and had fancy clothes, furniture, and food. Seeing that, Amado knew what he had to do.
Amado continued on his way to the Market Place. When he saw the family, he kept walking. He also did not answer to their calls. While he walked through the crowd, he spotted bunches of other families who were actually poor. Amado had never seen them before because he was so focused on the other family. He gave all that was in the basket away and he invited all of the poor people to come stay with him in this house until they no longer needed to. And from that time on, Amado was truly happy because he could help the poor without making himself poor, and he knew that his parents had loved him.
And it is said that one of the poorest women that stayed with Amado had stitched a sampler for him in return for his kindness. The sampler had read:
The heaviest burden is an empty pocket.


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