A Present for Bobby
You know there are a lot of places in the world, but I don’t think there is a sadder place on earth, than an orphanage at Christmas time, or any other time for that matter.
I was on tour giving performances to charitable institutions,
On this the Christmas season.
I had been doing shows in such places as Homes for the aged, Veteran Hospitals. Army and Navy bases.
And after each performance, I was happy to find I’d left a little happiness behind.
This was my first experience with an orphanage you see.
And I must tell you, the feeling it left me with me.
It was Christmas day, and I’d just finished a show in town, when a group of volunteer workers approached me.
And one introduced himself as Mr. Brown
He asked if I might have time to entertain the children, at the orphan’s home on the edge of town?
Without hesitation I agreed.
I accompanied the small delegation of two or three.
They were filled with happiness untold.
And that’s where the happiest and the saddest experience of my life, was to unfold.
As I walked into the main building, I felt sadness all around.
And I knew in a short time, I’d have to act the part, and play a clown.
I saw children of all ages, some small, and some almost grown.
The little ones were running to and fro.
Decorating the Christmas tree with artificial snow.
Then my eyes fastened on a little boy.
Who sat in a coroner of the huge room, small and pale.
He looked like a little toy.
I walked over to where he was sitting all alone.
I crouched down beside him, taking one of his frail little hands that looked so thin.
With my other hand I touched him under the chin.
And when he turned around to look at me, he sort of just stared off into space.
Tears were welling in his eyes, and a half smile crossed his sad little face.
I gathered up enough courage to say, “Why so sad this Christmas Day/”
The boy looked at me with pleading eyes and said, “Everyone said if I were good all year and I asked Santa Claus, he’d bring my mommy and daddy here.”
Hopefully and with a new born gleam in his eyes he asked.
Are you my daddy, did you come to take me home with you and mommy?
Stunned I could not reply, no matter how hard I’d try.
It was as if someone had shut my mouth with a spike.
Here I was stumped, by a four year old tyke.
Before I had a chance to recover from my shock.
There was a kindly old lady by my side wearing a smock.
I presumed she was one of the ladies on the staff.
She explained to the boy.
That I was there to make the children laugh.
The boy was looking straight ahead.
As if he hadn’t heard a word the lady said.
He slipped off the bench he was sitting on.
And said as he hugged me around the neck.
“Please be my daddy please?”
Choked up and ready to cry myself, I clung to the boy and said in spite of myself “I wish I could, Oh, how I wish I could my little elf.”
I was married and my wife and I traveled around a great deal.
With nightclub appearances and shows on TV.
That left little time for her and me.
I was recognized as an up and coming comedian and was on my way.
But for the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything funny to say.
The boy still clung to my neck as I stood up with him in my arms.
The lady was most apologetic for the position I was in all around.
And she tried to coax the boy down.
I clung to the little boy and kissed him on the cheek.
I was so choked up I could hardly speak.
I finally managed to say, “It’s all right let him stay with me.”
The stage was set and ready to go, that is except my little friend who wouldn’t let go.
Before it was time for me to do the show.
I persuaded him to stand in the wings and watch the show..
I had a feeling that anything I would say would not be funny.
I looked out at the faces in the audience.
Some were smiling, and some looked beyond laughter.
A thought crossed my mind.
Of the fortunate boys and girls in the world,
How lucky they were to have fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers.
A Christmas tree loaded with presents, and a future to behold.
Well the show was a sucuess and everyone enjoyed themselves.
And I returned once again to my regular routine,
Oh! Wait that’s not the end.
You may wonder what happened to my little friend,
Well.. let me tell you, little Bobby was adopted, and has a new home now.
Yes we took him home and he’s our son now.
You see I just left the home after doing a show.
Now I have to get home in this new falling snow.
To put his presents under the tree.
Oh yes! Our other son we adopted is almost three.
By Don Eagle
© 2008 Don Eagle
(All rights reserved)