Larry Trent often writes short stories about his experiences — sometimes in Los Angeles, sometimes at his border ministry and sometimes visiting Mexico. This story took place in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico, and it comes with a visual.
Last night I was sitting at a sidewalk table eating my stuffed chicken breast in mole sauce. It was delicious, but too much of it (2 pieces plus rice). I started the meal with a bowl of Aztec Soup, so there was no way I was going to eat all of this.A little indigenous boy walked by and looked at me but kept walking.
I thought he was probably one of the walking vendedores selling something. But I didn’t see anything that he might be selling. He stopped walking and turned around staring at me and the food on my plate. I asked, “tienes hambre” ( are you hungry)? “Sí” was his reply. Do you want the rest of my mole? “Sí, señor”. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the waiter coming to run him off. I said, “ sit down and eat”. He sat in the chair beside me. I waved to the waiter to let him know I wanted the boy there. There was a small plate on the table that was for my bread. I put the chicken on that plate with lots of mole sauce. There were tortillas which they always bring and I never eat.
Miguel is 7 years old and lives in one of the villages close by. He is really tiny. I had to cut up the chicken for him. He really didn’t know how to use a knife. He ate it with the tortillas. As he was eating, I noticed a woman with four small children watching us. It was his Mother. She never came over to us. When he finished, he scampered across the street to his Mom yelling gracias over his shoulder. His Mom made a motion to me of folding her hands like she were praying and bringing her hands to her chest. I returned the gesture.
I don’t know why Miguel was walking in the plaza alone. Maybe Mom, who was selling things, simply could not keep up with him plus the other 4. One she was carrying on her back In a rebozo. It is not unusual to see children wandering through the plaza. Maybe even selling small items.
I am sure there is a sermon in there. “Lord, when did I see you hungry”?