A very short story of an urchin turned tourist guide
Dinh’s saga of survival
Dinh had arrived in the world unannounced, unsung and un-loved. He was born in a bombed, abandoned house in one desolate corner of Saigon. He saw his mother for barely a few minutes before she died, unable to battle anemia and infection.
Dinh survived, but just barely – in the family of a janitor. By 12, he had fallen in the bad company of petty criminals. He became a pickpocket. He lived rough – in the streets of the cruel city.
One evening, he was caught red-handed. The Magistrate sent him to a juvenile detention facility. Life was hard, and frugal. A dour, bearded teacher took a one-hour class in the morning. He thrashed Dinh for minor infractions. No wonder, Dinh hated his teacher. He dreaded him, and stubbornly refused to remember anything taught in the class.
One day, a French man from a French charity came to the juvenile prison to distribute gifts. Among the items were a few nicely printed booklets in French. He offered to teach French to those inmates who wanted to learn the language.
Dinh became a pupil. Soon, he was able to write and speak basic French. Encouraged by Dinh’s progress, the Frenchman gave Dinh a collection of Guy de Maupassant’s illustrated short stories. For Dinh, it was a gift from Heaven. He poured into the books with great enthusiasm.
Dinh had become 18– the age he had to leave the juvenile facility. Dark days in the streets stared at him again. He became despondent. His French teacher understood his anxiety. In days, he secured the job of a tourist guide for Dinh in the local French embassy. Dinh loved the job, and the excitement of being seen so admiringly and lovingly by the French tourists.
You may adopt this storyline and reduce it to 150 words, if you desire so.