Boy Against World

by Esther Suson

On the road from the corner McDo to Guadalupe Station MRT, I saw to my right one of those partitioned wooden boxes used by street vendors, resting on a frame on the sidewalk, with a small boy, maybe five to seven years old, tending it. He was in a neon green sando, had cropped hair, and skinny sun-darkened limbs.

At the moment, he was holding a broken stick, with a splintered, sharpened end, in a potentially offensive manner towards the pale-blue-shirted McDonald’s employee who was buying. I craned my head to look while walking – sorry, senseis – and noticed that the boy only put down the stick when the the customer paid him.

The scene intrigued me. Had someone stolen from the child before, thinking that because of his size and relative weakness he would not be able to give chase or fight back? Regardless, the skinny brown shrimp had decided that it would not happen to him again, even if it meant that all potential customers had to look down a splintered stake while buying.

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