Tony loved to play with animals; when you walked around to the back of his house, you would see a wide array of animals and insects. He had aquariums with fishes, he had cages of birds, and he had nests with ants and grass hoppers and beetles. He even had worms and caterpillars too. Most of his friends thought that he was odd to have such gross animals playing with all the time, but Tony loved his animal collection.
His parents did their best to support him at all times so whenever they could, they would take home another bird, or food for the fishes. They saw how much he loved animals and they encouraged his love; who knows, one day he might become a veterinarian. Tony never felt bad when his friends teased him or when others refused to play with him, calling him ‘worm man’ or ‘animal boy’ or whatever name they would make up at any given time. He found great joy in caring for his animals and he considered them his best friend.
One day he was coming home from school when he saw a puppy by the side of the road. It was whimpering so Tony figured he must be hurt. Just before he could get to the puppy, he realised that some of the other boys were close by and were throwing stones at the pup. Tony figured that must be the source of the animal’s pain. He rushed over to the pup and scooped it up in his hands. No sooner had he done that when a stone landed on his shoulder. He crouched down as the boys kept throwing stones, but Tony refused to put the pup down.
Soon after an elderly man was walking by and saw what was happening. He chased away the other boys and went over to Tony. He could not believe that Tony stood there taking all the hits meant for the pup. He patted him on the shoulder and smiled and then accompanied him home just in case there would be trouble from the meddlesome boys before he got home. He told Tony’s mother what had happened and she took him inside to clean him up. Tony didn’t care about that; all he wanted to do was clean the pup and give him something to eat.
“You have a wonderful son Ma’am. It is a pity there aren’t many more like him. It says a lot about a person who loves animals the way he does.”
Tony’s mother was very proud of him and as the man left, she walked with him to his animal kingdom to help him care for his new found friend.
The real character of a man is shown in how he interacts with those who can do nothing for him.
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