The Little Match Boy by Dean Stanley
Today, many children brave dangers to earn a living. They shine shoes; sell newspapers, candies, cigarettes and even flowers on the streets. The following story is about an honest boy who is like them. The setting may have happened many years ago but its message endures, that it maybe difficult poverty is never an excuse to be dishonest and untrustworthy.
A thin ragged little boy approached two gentlemen in front of a big hotel. He was selling matches. He pleaded and pleaded for them to buy. To make him go away, one of the gentleman then bought a box but he had no change so he said he would buy one tomorrow instead.
However, the boy begged him that he needed money that time because he was very hungry. The man then gave him a shilling and waited for the boy to come back. The boy failed to return though the gentlemen waited.
Later, a smaller boy came to see the gentleman to return his change. He looked poorer and more ragged. He introduced himself as the match boy’s younger brother. The older brother whose name was Sandy was not able to come because he met a cart accident. Sandy had lost his cap, his matches and some of the money’s change. What was more unfortunate was his legs were broken and the doctor said he was going to die.
The gentleman must have taken pity that he went with the boy to see Sandy. He learned that they were orphans living alone. Sandy knew he was dying and he cried who was going to take care of his younger brother Reuby. The gentleman held his hand and said that he would take care of Reuby. That was all Sandy needed to know before he went….
The Philippine Readers V, compiled by Camilo Osias and others, Ginn and Company 1947.