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THE "ANGEL" THING



I was not feeling very well when I got out of bed. I sat down in front of the television and began watching the morning news. After finishing my coffee, I walked into the bedroom, slipped into my cut-off jeans and a polo shirt. Those were my favorite jeans; yet, my wife had threatened to throw them away because the legs had strings hanging down almost to my knees. I put on my baseball cap, walked out to my truck, and headed to the local bookstore.

"I'm looking for Chicken Soup for the Care-givers Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Friend's Soul. Can you tell me if they have they been released yet?" I asked the clerk at Books-A-Million.

"August and September are the release dates. That is what it shows here on the computer," said the clerk.

I thanked the gentleman, then walked over to see if I could find any hard-cover editions of the Chicken Soup books which I already had stories in.

As I approached the Chicken Soup section, there stood several young girls reading a story from one of the books.

"That has to be the saddest story I have ever read," said one of the girls.

I looked at the front of the book and noticed that it was Chicken Soup for the Horse Loves Soul. I picked up a book and began to look through the pages. As the two young women walked in front of me, I could see that the story they were discussing was one I had written. I wanted to tell them, but for some strange reason I just couldn't. Oddly, I felt completely embarrassed.

I placed my book back onto the shelf and walked over to the Joe Muggs counter for a cup of coffee. After ordering a cup of decaf, I made my way out to the terrace for a cigarette. Several minutes later, the two girls appeared on the terrace with an older woman, which I presumed was their mother. They sat down at one of the tables and the young girl began to read my story to the woman. When she finished reading, the three of them sat there in silence for about a minute.

"I wish I could write stories like that," said the young girl, as she wiped her eyes with a napkin.

"Katy, just put your mind to it and you can do anything that you want," the woman told her.

"You gotta be real smart to write like that," said the girl, as she closed the book.

I smiled when I heard those words, knowing all along that I was not a very smart person. I had only finished the sixth grade before being sent off to the reform school by the orphanage.

I walked back into the bookstore to get another cup of coffee. While standing at the counter, the three ladies walked back inside and asked the clerk for directions to the bathroom. Just before they entered, the young girl laid her book down on one of the tables.

I walked over, opened the book, and wrote: "COWBOY HEART, by Roger Dean Kiser. Katy, you can do anything that you want if you put your mind to it." Then I signed it: "Your friend, Roger, 6-17-04."

When they came out of the bathroom, the young girl picked up the book and they proceeded to the checkout counter. The mother paid for the book and they left the store.

Iím not sure how the young girl will react when she discovers what I wrote inside the front cover. Will she look upon this as one of those strange miracles? Had this been my chance to do an "angel" thing?



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