in Tall Tales

Don't Feed the Animals

Around a month ago a new homeless fellow showed up on Main Street. He’s obviously got some sort of mental illness, and he’s deteriorating fast. I remember the first day I saw him, he had either just gone off his meds, or he was as high as a kite, or both, but I’ve never seen a happier more satisfied fellow. But he wasn’t so happy the next day — he was disheveled and screaming at traffic. A few days after that I saw him again. There was a large sore on his forehead. The last time I saw him he had a few sores and no shoes.
The last time I saw him, he was on Main Street asking for change. A man walked by with a little boy and the boy moved as if he was going to talk to the homeless guy. The father pulled him away. As the father and son walked by me, I heard the father give his son this explanation:
…it’s like the animals in the park. You don’t feed the animals. You don’t talk to the animals. They choose to sit there, and so we leave them alone and let them stay there.
The End.

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