Old Friends

Chi Hsii, an 11-year-old boy, hurried along the road from his village in China. He carried a basket of eggs.

U.S. soldiers were at a camp near the boy's village. They were standing around a fire. When they saw the Chinese boy, they said, "Here comes breakfast."

It was November 1945. World War II was over. There was no more fighting. But there wasn't much food in China. Every day the Chinese boy brought some eggs to the U.S. soldiers. The soldiers took the eggs and gave the boy canned food. The soldiers were happy; they had fresh eggs. And the boy was happy; he had canned food.

Day after day the Chinese boy traded food with the soldiers. The Chinese boy liked the soldiers, and the soldiers liked the Chinese boy. But there was a problem. The American soldiers couldn't say the boy's name. They tried and they tried, but they couldn't say "Chi Hsii." "Chi Hsii" sounds a little like the English words "two shoes." So, the soldiers called the boy "Charlie Two Shoes."

One day Charlie's father came with Charlie to the soldiers' camp. "We don't have enough food in our village," he said. "Please take my son. Take good care of him." For the next three years Charlie Two Shoes lived with the American soldiers in their camp. He ate with the soldiers and dressed like the soldiers. He learned to read and write English at an American school.

In 1949 the soldiers left China. They flew back to the United States. They couldn't take Charlie with them. From the windows of the airplane, the soldiers looked at Charlie. Charlie was crying. The soldiers were crying, too.

After the soldiers left, they often thought about Charlie. They were afraid that Charlie was dead. Then, in 1980, they got a letter from Charlie. Charlie was alive! He wanted to come to the United States.

The soldiers sent Charlie a plane ticket. Charlie came to the United States and lived with one of the soldiers. Later, the soldiers bought plane tickets for Charlie's wife and three children, too. They also gave Charlie $5,000 to open a restaurant.

Sometimes people ask the soldiers, "Why did you give Charlie so much help?" The soldiers answer, "We were unhappy in China; we were cold and lonely. Then came Charlie. He was always smiling, always happy. When Charlie was with us, we felt happy. Yes, we gave a lot to Charlie. But Charlie gave a lot to us, too."

Нет комментариев. Ваш будет первым!