I walked down the road. On my left I saw mighty high trees and a lovely creek merged around the trees. There were different birds in the trees and the water was so clear you could see the fish chase each other. On the left, I saw the house I had been looking for. It was much smaller than they had told me, and it looked a lot older than they’d described it. On the porch sat an old farmer. His hat half on his face to protect it from the sun, his hands folded on his belly. He was sleeping, I could hear his heavy, peaceful breathing even from the distance I was standing at. I took of my cloak; it was very warm here in the sun. I wanted to let the old man sleep, so I turned around and walked to the creek. A little boy was staring in the water, a stick in his hands. With a concentrated look he waited for an opportunity to make a fast movement and pierce a fish. He must have seen the reflections in the water, for he turned around and stared me right in my eyes. He must have been about twelve years at least, but he was a lot smaller than other boys of that age. He didn’t look very friendly at me, and I had difficulty to find words to say. I knew this was the boy my uncle had been talking about, and all of a sudden I understood what he meant by calling him “A little stranger of the world”.
I was about to speak, when suddenly the old farmer cleared his throat and came walking to me. His beard was grey and so was his hair. I could see he must have been a very good looking man when he was younger, but time had made him into an old worker with long fingers and small arms. His cloth were too big, but his hat too small. He smiled at me, with a fatherly look in his eyes. I said him goodbye and he guided me into the small house. It was full of old stuff. An old clock hanging above the fireplace, a dark painting of a horse with his owner, a kitchen with an old stove and to my surprise a saw a little, white dog in the corner of the room. Uncle Pete had told me they had a couple of chickens, but I didn’t know about the dog. The farmer saw me looking at it and smiled. “That’s sergeant Dog” he said with a crack in his voice. “The kid found him a couple of weeks ago. It’s his.” I nodded and sipped from my thee. “Let’s get business done.” The farmer said to me. It woke me up from my own thoughts. I nodded a bit nervous. A deep breath. “I want to take the boy to Chicago.” My voice was clear and I looked him straight into his eyes. I know this was the moment of truth. If the old man said no, all would have been for nothing. Jimmy, that’s his name. My uncle immediately thought of me when he heard what had happened to the boy. At first, I said no, but when I heard he was my only other relative, I had no other option than to go all the way to Rochester and see the boy myself. Taking him to Chicago might not be the best option, but at least it would give him a slight change he would make it. Living in a distinct place like this would definitely not be an option.
I looked at the farmer. He was caught by his own thoughts and clearly wasn’t going to give an answer, so I decided to explain more of what I wanted. “I will look after him ‘till he is old enough. I understand how hard this will be for him. He has so many things to deal with, thinking about the death of his mother, and the fact he only has one eye left. I will do everything I can to make him happy. After all he has going been through, he deserves a second change to start life again. My uncle Pete told me about what happened to the boy and how I am his only relative. He will never get used to his disability if I don’t take him. He will be an old, crappy, depressed man, without anyone to love. I..” The farmer hushed me. “Take him.” He said, with an broke down voice. “But,” he said while he was peering deep into my eyes. “Promise me you take the dog too. He found it on the day they buried his mother. It means a lot to him.” I nodded. “That should be alright.” A little smile appeared on my face, as I started to think about the adventure in front of me. But more I thought about the adventure, called future, Jimmy had in front of him. No one could take away his pain, but at least I could try to make it hurt less. And maybe, he would smile again.