Little Boy Goes Door to Door Begging for Food for Sick Mom, Then Local Priest Follows His Trail – a Short Story

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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Maddy is my little sister. We used to live with our mom. She would take us fishing here. But then she died, and people said they were going to separate Maddy and me. So we ran here. I could take care of us myself. No one is going to take her away.

Finding a New Family

McLeod praised the boy for his bravery but he explained that winter would come soon and the shack would do little to keep out the cold. He promised to find someone to help them and no one would ever take them apart. The children finally agreed and followed Father McLeod to his home where he gave them a hot meal and the guest bedroom to sleep in.

When he called CPS, he learned that the children’s mother had passed away four months ago and the service had searched for the children ever since. Several weeks later, Wyatt and Maddy moved in with a loving foster family in the same Weiser community that had looked out for them. The neighborhood was overjoyed to see the siblings safe and cared for. Wyatt did everything he could to help his sister; he knew that family was everything. But he had no idea that his foster parents and his community would become his new family. 

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This story was inspired by an original piece of fiction that first appeared on AmoMama. Any similarities between this story and actual people are purely coincidental.

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Keep Reading: Old Man Pays for Poor Lady’s Groceries and Recognizes Sweetheart He Lost 62 Years Ago – a Short Story

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Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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