Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • True story: many years ago. So I need gas for my car. I pull into a station/convenience store in the city. It is dark, the neighborhood is run down, shabby, economically depressed. I had to go into the store and pay the cashier before pumping the gasoline. I leave the store with change in my hand. I unhook the nozzle of the pump. A fellow comes up to me and begs for a few dollars. I hesitated but the man looked desperate so I gave him a couple of ones. Without saying thank you, he ran to the corner bar.

    I had finished pumping my gas when a second man approached me. He also wanted money. But this time I wasn't eager to see my money used to buy alcohol. I said "No." He pleaded, "Please I am hungry. I want to buy some food. Anything you can give me. Please."

    I caved. I gave him my remaining few dollars. In my mind, I told myself, "You are such a sap! Now watch this guy go get a drink too!"

    The man's eyes welled up with tears. He thanked me profusely. I cynically thought, "This guy is a great actor. But it is all part of the scam."

    He rushed into the convenience store and bought a hotdog and a soda.

    As I drove away I saw that he was eating. My heart felt good.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.