It was winter outside, and at noon the frost had already stopped. Not far from high-rise buildings, near the sidewalk, one grandmother asked for alms. Her face was covered with wrinkles and looked like an apple wintering under an apple tree. She looked hurt.
Her eyes were blue, in which neither sadness nor request was visible, except for indifference and doom. She was wearing not warm, but a clean dressing gown in cornflowers, which did not warm her. She wore overworn boots and had a summer scarf on her head.
Two teenagers, about 15-16 years old, were approaching her along the sidewalk, loudly talking about something with indecent vocabulary and laughing, drinking beer and smoking. As they approached the old woman, one of the teenagers stubbed out his cigarette in the palm of his grandmother and ran away with his friend, laughing loudly.
Grandmother did not utter a word, she became numb from such behavior, sank into the snow, she was tormented by severe pain. Only tears flowed down her hollow cheeks.
One little boy of about ten years old, seeing this unthinkable scene, quickly ran up to his grandmother and began to help her up:
— The snow is cold, grandmother, get up, you will get sick!
She came to her senses and asked who he was. And he replied with a smile on his face:
— My name is Nazariy, well, or Nazarchik, all my relatives call me that, and I live nearby. — and pointed towards the high-rise buildings. Does your hand hurt a lot? Don’t worry, don’t cry.» He took a handkerchief from his bag and wiped away her tears.
He looked at her, pondered, and quickly said:
— I’ll leave my bag here, you look after it, I’ll quickly run somewhere and come back, you won’t even have time to finish this pie before I’ll be here. — He took out a bag of pie from his backpack — this my grandmother cooks, very tasty.
Grandmother took the bag with trembling hands and wanted to say thank you, as the boy was gone. She thought he was a very good boy and her face lit up with a smile.
Suddenly a boy’s voice came out:
“I’m back,” her defender stood in front of her with another bag in his hands and was about to treat her.
He smeared the burn site with iodine and bandaged her hand well. Then he cheerfully said:
— Well, that’s it, but I want you to take this piggy bank in the form of a cockerel from me. Don’t worry, I’ll have another one, and my parents won’t say anything, they’ll understand me.
Grandmother was about to say no, but the boy with his brown eyes looked at her so warmly and kindly that she took it and said in a trembling voice:
— Thank you, sparrow. Your parents are very happy people, because they have a son like you.
He hugged her and the grandmother felt the beating of the boy’s small but very large heart:
“But I haven’t been so happy for a very long time,” the old woman said, kissing the boy’s cheek.