The little boy rushed over to me crying. I picked him up and carried him to the rocking chair.
"Am I a good boy?'' he asked.
"You're a very good boy,'' I answered promptly.
A look of happiness flooded his eyes. He slid down from my lap and trotted over for his nap.
Every autumn, without fail, the little boy appeared at my door on the first day of school and delivered a plastic bag holding a large orange. On his graduation day, a single pink rose appeared on my desk.
Years passed--four years, eight, ten. I heard nothing from the former kindergartner. Then illness struck me. I found myself in a sterile, empty hospital room. One gray afternoon, I closed my eyes to shut out the loneliness. When I opened them, a surprise greeted me.
Looking down at me were three smiling faces--a young lady's, a small boy's, and that of the kindergartner, who of course had grown up.
He was a doctor now--a pediatrician. He pushed the boy forward, and the boy stretched out his arm. In his hand was a large orange.
"Present,'' the boy said simply. And he handed me his gift.
The writer taught for 18 years in public and parochial elementary schools in Chicago.