The girl felt the wet ground of the mall parking lot. The soles of her shoes had no tread, and one of them was flapping. The other had no shoelace.
“I can’t walk, mommy. My shoes…”
Her mom stopped and looked down at the girl’s beaten shoes. She knelt and stared into her daughter’s face.
“It’s time to get you another pair.”
She looked around, pulled the little girl’s hand, and hurried to a trash bin. Then, to another. And, another. She finally put her hand inside the container and pulled out a pair of tiny used-to-be-pink-now-beige shoes. She patted some dirt off them and crouched to pull the tired shoes off from her daughter’s feet and replace with the ones with the attached soles and shoelaces.
“Try walking in them.”
The girl took a few steps.
“How are they? Too tight?”
They were. Inside the shoes, the girl’s toes curled a little. But, the girl looked back at her mother and smiled.
“Good! Now, let’s go find something to eat.”