Beauty marks

The little girl was staring at the man with the disfigured face.  She whispered to her mother, “Why is that man so ugly?”

The woman tried to hush her daughter….but it was too late.  The man had heard.

He stood up and crossed the waiting room.  He sat down beside the girl.  “Would you like to know how I got these beauty marks?” he asked the girl, with a wink and a smile to the mother.

“Uh-huh,” the girl answered.

“One day, there was a fire in my apartment block.  Everybody had to leave their apartments and head for the street, safe from the flames.  One mother was beside herself in panic.  She had arrived on the sidewalk with her daughter, but her son was nowhere to be found.”

“A man nearby ran back into the apartment to find her son, and bring him to safety.  He picked up the boy and carried him out. But on their way, something burning fell across their side.  Both the man and the boy caught fire.  There was nothing to do but run down the stairs and out the door as fast as possible and roll in the grass.

“Both the man and the boy survived.  And they both were left with matching beauty marks,” the man finished with a smile.

In a voice not much louder than a whisper the girl said, “Wow.  You saved the boy.  That’s what the marks of a hero looks like.”

The man just laughed.  “No, these are not the marks of a hero.  These are the marks of love.  You see, I was that boy.  And a stranger loved me enough to share these marks with me.”