The woman and the beggar


A good young woman was always rendering help to a roadside beggar. Each time she passed by every morning, she offered the poor man food and money. On more than one occasion, she brought him gifts, such as clothes, shoes, wristwatch, perfume and cookies.

At one point, the poor beggar had asked her.

“Why are you so kind to me? You know I’d never be able to pay you back”.

The young woman replied with a gorgeous smile.

“I do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who I am”.

One day, the young woman passed by as usual and offered the poor beggar a sum of money. However, this time, the man noticed something quite unusual and serious about the young woman. She didn’t wear a smile. Her face was bruised and her eyes were red and swollen like she had sobbed all day. She looked very ill and sad.

Deeply concerned, the poor man asked.

“Ma’am, what seems to be the problem? What happened to you?”.

The young woman shook her head silently and mumbled.

“I’m perfectly fine”.

Then she walked away. And after that day, she stopped passing by and was never seen.

A few weeks later, at the young woman’s house, she heard a gentle knock on the gate. When she opened the gate, she found a little boy standing outside. The boy noticed she looked very sick but he said humbly.

“I’m looking for a job ma’am. I can clean your house, wash your clothes and water your flowers, and you’ll pay me only small change”.

The woman looked at the boy for a moment, then uttered.

“Well, I do all those things myself, so I don’t necessarily need a household worker. Besides, you’re too young to be looking for a job. You should focus on your education”.

The little boy pleaded for the woman to let him work, and that he needed the money so he could pay for his education expenses. He said his parents were poor and couldn’t afford his school fees.

The kind-hearted woman accepted to let the boy work in her house, and in return, she offered to pay for his education expenses. With a heart full of gratitude, the boy asked if he could begin his work the following morning. The woman accepted.

One week later, a couple of policemen burst into the woman’s house and arrested her husband at gunpoint. He was accused of domestic violence against his wife, and physically assaulting her. The woman was shocked and wondered how the police knew about it.

Just then, a man and a little boy walked in. The woman noticed that the man was the roadside beggar whom she used to offer gifts to, and that the little boy was her new household worker. At that moment, the man said.

“Ma’am, the last time you passed by,   I knew that something was definitely wrong with you, even though you refused to admit it. I secretly followed you so I could know where you live. And over the time you stopped passing by, I was extremely worried. My instincts told me you were going through a difficult time. So I sent my son to go look for a job at your house. I wanted him to observe you and precisely monitor what happens in your home. After two days of working in your house, he told me he always heard your husband screaming at you, and he had severally witnessed him beat you and chained you up. Then I gave my son a camera phone to secretly record the incident. And then we went to the police station and reported the crime. Ma’am, you are a good woman and you have helped me in so many ways. This is the only way I can pay you back”.

A policeman asked the woman.

“Why didn’t you leave or call the police since then?”.

The woman replied with tears.

“He threatened that if I ever left him or reported the crime, he would kill me”.

The beggar chorused.

“It’s over ma’am. You’ll live peacefully from now on”.

BY CHIMA Dickson (Nigerian author)


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