Caussey's Corner

Three Cans of Beans: A Texas Tale of the Giving Spirit

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One year when I was still teaching, our school, along with many others, collected canned goods to give to poor families for the holidays. Our school’s goal that year was 10,000 cans. We discussed the importance of everyone contributing, and the students were excited about helping others less fortunate.

The school day was coming to a close. Already the cold was approaching space once held by the vanishing sun. In about two hours it would be dark. A student approached my desk. He was slightly stooped, but his face was covered with a bright smile. Proudly he placed three cans of beans on the desk.

“Sir, I brung some food for them hungry children.” He stood before me in stained black pants, torn and soiled white shirt with a slight smell of yesterday’s sweat clinging to it. He rocked slightly back and forth on darkened, dirty tennis shoes.

Three Cans of Beans: A Texas Tale of the Giving Spirit

“My momma said that there are many poor people, and since we are blessed, we need to give some of what we have,” he said, as his eyes danced an elfin jig.

“This is such a kind gesture,” I said. “But maybe we should wait and see if we get all the cans we need.”

“Oh no, Sir! We have six cans of beans, and I wanted to give three, and that still leaves us three. I’m good in math.”

“Well, don’t you have some other food?”

“Oh yes, we have some syrup, and four cans of beets.” This was said with an attitude that the speaker was the heir to the kingdom of prosperity.

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