Once there was a farmer whose dog, named Dolly, had given birth to 5 puppies. Unable to take care of them all, the farmer decided to sell them.
So he made a sign advertising the selling of 4 puppies, not mentioning one of them. As the farmer was nailing the sign to the last post, he felt a tug on his overalls.
He looked down into the sparkling eyes of a little boy. With a big smile on his face, he said to the farmer:
“Mister, I want to buy one of your puppies.”
“Well, these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money,” said the farmer.
The boy hung his head for a moment, thinking about what to do. Then he pulled out from his pocket a handful of change and gave it the farmer, saying:
“I’ve got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?”
“Sure,” said the farmer. He let out a whistle and called out:
“Dolly! Here Dolly!”
Dolly came out from the doghouse running, followed by her four little puppies. The little boy’s eyes twinkled with happiness.
As the dogs made their way to the farmer, the boy noticed something else moving inside the doghouse. Slowly another puppy made his way out. He was noticeably smaller than the other puppies.
He slid down the ramp and began limping towards the others, trying his best to catch up.
“I want that one,” the boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said to him: “Son, you don’t want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.”
The boy didn’t say anything. He just stepped back from the fence and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. Doing so, he revealed a steel brave running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially-made shoe.
Then the boy looked back to the farmer and said:
“You see sir, I don’t run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.”
Speechless and with tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little puppy. Holding it carefully, he handed it to the little boy.
“How much?” asked the little boy.
“No charge,” said the farmer.
“There’s no charge for love!”