“A little help with a little smile gives meaning to human life.” ― Abhijit Naskar. There are so many people around us who need help, but often we don’t see them. We are unable to see past their happy facade, and sometimes, we don’t even try to. It’s easier to let people in need pass by. But the small community in Weiser, Idaho, couldn’t ignore the little boy who came to their homes begging for food. However, he refused to tell anyone why — until the local priest uncovered his secret. This story was inspired by a reader of AmoMama, where the incident was originally published.
Who is This Boy?
Weiser, Idaho, is a small town and one of the safest in America. At the time of this story, everyone in the community knew each other, especially the priest who oversaw the local church. So Father McLeod was shocked to learn about a small child who had escaped his notice. But one by one, members of the community came forward with the same tale.
Every couple of days, a little boy around seven or eight would make his rounds around the neighborhood. He’d knock on doors and ask for food. Many people felt sorry for him but he refused to answer their questions. All he’d say is vague details about his parents who can’t go to work anymore. And his home address changed every time people asked about it. The only consistent answer was his name: Wyatt.
Father McLeod tried to investigate this boy, and although many people have encountered him, they all had a different version of his story. His mother was sick, his father was injured in a car crash, his family needed extra food for visiting relatives, he was collecting groceries for charity. One neighbor saw Wyatt outside of his usual rounds. He was sitting alone in a park, early in the morning. The neighbor was walking his dog and tried to offer help but Wyatt quickly ran away.
Another neighbor tried to get to the bottom of the situation. When Wyatt came to ask for food, she asked him many questions, trying to get a straight answer. The boy started crying and left her porch and he didn’t return to ask for food again. Direct questions didn’t work, so Father McLeod chose another approach.
Discovering Wyatt’s Secret
At the end of another round of food collection, Wyatt walked toward the outskirts of Weiser, close to the highway. McLeod followed him from afar. The boy continued toward Snake River and disappeared into the forest beside it. McLeod wandered amongst the trees, wondering if he should give up when he heard voices. He followed them until he discovered a small shack, patched with duct tape and a tarp over the roof.
McLeod gently knocked on the door and Wyatt opened it, looking terrified. A small girl peeked out from under his arm. Before McLeod could say anything, Wyatt begged, “Please don’t take Maddy away.”
Father McLeod assured him that he had no intention of doing such a thing. After Wyatt calmed down, he finally agreed to tell the truth.