caring is dangerous

It was during a brief moment at a stop light that I glimpsed the peculiar scene—a short-legged, brown-haired boy motoring with absurd gusto along a chain-linked fence. Just beforehand he had joined two other kindergarteners playing in a schoolyard before school. The two kids played with a stuffed animal fox, tossing it high into the air and catching it. The tossed it again and again until the worst struck. The fox arced of center and landed on the other side of the yard’s fence. It lay lonely in the freshly cut grass between the fence and a public bus stop. Immediately the short-legged, brown-haired boy jumped into his sprint. The other two crouched down, staring stunned and hopeless into the fox’s plastic eyes. I saw that the short one was headed for a break in the fence. He spun around the corner and proceeded to run along the road. The light turned green and I moved on in my travels, but I thought, man, that kid is going to get in big trouble when his teacher sees him out there. I suppose then, caring is dangerous. It leads us beyond the chain-linked fence of security and sometimes that means punishment instead of reward.

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