Depending on kindness

By Marilyn Hill
This item appears on page 31 of the October 2017 issue.

I was lucky with my trip to Italy this year in that I had no major mishaps or missed connections on either planes or trains. However, in the stations, I still depended totally on others to help with my 22-inch suitcase, and someone always came through.

Once, faced with a long flight of steep stairs in getting from the lower level of the train station in Verona up to the designated platform, I stood there only a few seconds before a dark-haired child of about 10 saw my plight. Without saying a word, he picked up my bagagli (luggage) and, without speaking, started rapidly up the stairs, with me struggling behind as fast as I could with my small carry-on and purse.

When I reached the top, he just stood there, looking up at me with big soulful eyes but not saying a word (probably because he couldn’t speak English).

I kept my wallet inside my cross-body purse while I searched for a smaller coin, but all I had was one for 2 (near $2.40). When I gave it to him, he kept looking at me, but when I told him to keep it, he scampered off.

I have no idea what he was thinking. Was he waiting for more or wondering if I might ask for change?

It was another experience that will be an indelible memory.

Portland, OR