My clothes were shabby as I stood outside the store waiting for its opening. Others were coming to the sidewalk. They were dressed in fine linen and carried themselves as though important. I stepped aside as glances in my direction made known that I didn’t belong here.
A rattling of the locks made all aware it was time for the shop to open. The storekeeper opened wide the doors, and with a huge show of fanfare, smiled and waved for all to come in and partake of his wares. One by one the persons who had come after me, pushed past in a rush to enter in. Barely did they notice anything of me except to offer silent contempt.
Being last, I started to enter the doorway but the storekeeper stepped in front of me to block my coming in. The smile was gone and judgment stared from his eyes at me.
“You don’t look like you have any money on you. Well do you?” he asked snidely.
I could not lie, “No sir, I am not carrying any money.”
“Then you are not welcome. Go away from here!” His finger pointed to the road out front.
I turned away and walked out to the road. Some gravel had gotten into my worn shoe tread and I kicked the asphalt a couple times until it fell out with the dust. Putting my hands in my pockets I could feel my small book and the pouch of gems I carried. I could hear many voices behind me filled with awe and wonder at the storekeeper’s perishable goods.
I did not look back.