Two children in ragged1 coats knocked on my door. "Any old papers, lady?"
I was busy. I wanted to say no —then I looked down at their feet. They wore thin little shoes, wet from the storm. "Come in and I’ll give you something to eat."
There was no conversation. Their wet shoes left marks on my carpet, which I had just cleaned fifteen minutes ago. I served them chocolate milk and bread to make them feel warmer. Then I went back to the kitchen and continued to do my housework. The silence in the front room struck me. I looked in. The girl held the empty cup in her hands, looking at it. The boy asked in a small voice, "Lady ... are you rich?"
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The girl put her cup back in its saucer2 very carefully. "Your cups match your saucers."
Her voice was old, with a hunger that was not of the stomach. They left, holding their old papers against the wind. They didn’t say "Thank you". They didn’t need to. They had done more than that. I had plain blue cups and saucers, but they matched. I began to clean the living room. The dirty prints of their small shoes on my carpet were still wet. I let them be. I wanted them there in case I ever forgot how rich I was.
1. ragged adj.破旧的
2. saucer n.茶托, 茶碟
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