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On Christmas Eve a man named Michael was wandering the streets dressed as Santa Clause with a bag full of gifts.
He was a thief, and adept at disguising himself. He robbed people, even in broad day light.
Suddenly he noticed a lady leaving a house and waving good bye to a small boy.
Michael thought to himself. "I am fortunate enough to find my prey so easily."
He lost no time in banging on the door of his lonely target.
A small boy peeped through the window and asked; "Who are you?"
Michel turned around so that the boy could see him.
He screamed with joy; "Oh! Santa, I have been waiting for you. Where are your reindeers?"
With a wide grin on his face Michel replied; "Allow me the pleasure of giving you gifts and a ride in my sleigh."
The boy unbolted the door and said; "Santa, I am Peter. Will you be angry if I touch you, because seeing you in person is like a dream come true for me?"
Michel smiled at his innocence and said; "Peter, I am not a dream."
Peter hesitantly touched his red flowing robe and bag full of chocolates and almost cried with joy.
Peter hugged him tightly and said; "Thanks for coming Santa, I love you."
Michael felt emotional by this unadulterated display of affection. All he had received so far were words of abuse from policemen.
He sat down on a chair while Peter rushed towards the kitchen and brought some sweets and cake.
He said; "Santa, you have to wait for cherries as my mother has gone to the market to buy them."
Nibbling a piece of cake Michael asked; "But where is your father."
Peter replied in a sad voice; "My father died two years ago in an accident."
Michel felt pity for the child and asked; "Then how does your mother run the house."
"My mother makes envelopes all day and I also help her, and she stitches clothes until late at night.
Michael was ashamed of himself; he thought how mean and selfish he was!
Michael was a grown up man and physically strong.
With remorse he thought to himself; 'I am stealing others' money by cheating them but this small boy and his mother have not lost honesty and courage even in the face of such adversity.'
Suddenly he stood up and said; "This bag is full of chocolates for you."
"But I don't have anything to give you." Peter replied.
Michael wiped his wet eyes and said; "Till now nobody has ever given any gift to Santa, but you have unknowingly given me a wonderful gift. I shall always be grateful to you."
Peter did not understand but smiled and said; "Please come next Christmas too."
"Definitely" he replied, giving him a warm hug.
Michael left for the start of a new life.
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