This is an older village---many homes of wooden structure nestled in narrow streets. The sidewalks are a combination of wood and gravel with poorer folks living on the sidelines next to those with prosperity.
A group of carousing men dominate the street in celebration of liquor and debauchery.
Among the watching folks is one man, not tall but holding his own space. His attire is a light jacket, corduroy pants and dark hair. If you walked by him quickly you may miss him since he blends in easily.
However he is noticed by the boisterous ones since he is standing on their side of the street. They really don't like strangers, and believe he should step to the other side of the street.
Carrying on in a loud manner caressing an open jar of homemade hooch, the leader of this crew approached. "You. Yes you. What are you doing here. Git."
The stranger did not move.
The scene was watched by the quieter side of the street. Men and women, even children were awed by his boldness. The stranger simply raised his hand, pointed a finger and said, "Back."
At first the bully did not know what to do. As he hesitated, several muscle-bound buddies moved alongside to protect him.
But the stranger was unrelenting with his pointing. As he moved forward, finger in the air firm and poised for effect, all three bullies backed up.
Everyone on both sides of the street could not believe their eyes. Other toughies and boisterous ones looked on in amazement.
The subdued folks who had been terrorized by this mob saw a champion in their midst. They almost dared to clap as they crossed the street for a closer look. Turning to one man from that group, the stranger asked, "Why did you allow these men to push you down?
"Well, look at the size of them," a short fellow responded.
Once again the stranger pointed his finger at the trio of bullies, asking "Why did you tell that child to throw away his toy? It was his birthday gift." More questions challenged the unruly group. The strangers' words were not threatening, mostly cajoling, with concern in his voice.
"Now I have a plan," the stranger announced. "It is time to raise money for the children. And to make sure everyone has proper clothes and food. "This is your challenge to work together."
Everyone clapped, even from the dominant side of the street. People brought $10's, $20's and even a $50 dollar bill. Soon the stranger had $437.48.
The atmosphere in the town changed. Both sides of the street mingled. And all children joined in games. Folks pulled together with material items and homemade treats, more like having a party. This time there was no booze or belligerent types pushing anyone around.
The village is happy; but, what of the stranger?
He is called Saviour.
Richard L. Provencher
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