Der Lun followed his mother to the market as usual. It was a chore he enjoyed
because the market was such a vibrant place. There was always something
interesting to see.
That day, Der Lun caught sight of a middle-aged man with
unkempt hair and old clothes. He was a
beggar. He held out a wooden bowl and passers-by dropped in coins. Der Lun's
mother put a small coin into the bowl as she passed him by. His eyes followed
the mother and son as they set off for home. As Der Lun and his mother turned
into the narrow path that led to their house, he suddenly realized that the
beggar was following them. Der Lun told his mother about it. Alarmed, she
quickened her steps and as soon as they got inside their house, she locked it.
Der Lun peered out the window and saw the beggar sitting on the ground near the
gate. Why did the beggar follow them? Der Lun wished he knew.
After a couple of hours, Der Lun's mother became concerned for the poor
beggar. He had not moved from his spot. She gathered up her courage and went to
ask the beggar to leave. But the beggar merely looked at her with a gentle
smile. Worried that he would fall ill with no food and water, she sent Der Lun
to give him a bowl of rice and vegetables and some tea. The beggar ate and
drank. Then he lay down
under a tree to sleep. Der Lun's mother was at a loss
as to what else to do. She was just a poor widow with a young son. Since the
beggar refused to leave, she and Der Lun built a little shelter for him. He
seemed content with whatever they gave him.
A week passed and one day, Der Lun found the beggar gone. Der Lun and his
mother searched for him but he was nowhere to be found. Not long after that, a
car stopped outside Der Lun's house and two well-dressed men got out. Der Lun
and his mother wondered who they were. The men introduced themselves as lawyers
representing a Mr Cheong. They explained that Mr Cheong wanted to repay Der Lun
and his mother for taking care of him. Mr Cheong was a millionaire who had once
been homeless. Now that he was rich, he liked to look for deserving people to
help. He would disguise himself as a beggar
and when he met someone who was kind to him, he would give that person a sum of
The sum of money Mr Cheong gave to Der Lun's mother was enough to make their
life more comfortable and to give Der Lun a university education. Der Lun and
his mother could not believe their good fortune. They treated the beggar well
out of compassion. They never expected to be so richly rewarded.