He Is the Lime Man for the County

by Michael Patrick O'Leary


This man makes a probably meagre living from selling limes and sometimes mangoes, papayas and bananas. He is not a beggar. He has some disability in his legs and gets about in a wheelchair cum tricycle. (Don’t ask me why his legs work for pedalling but not walking.) He is out in all weathers trying to make an honest living from selling fruit. We have seen him out in the blazing heat and the pouring monsoon rain and cyclonic winds. Limes are available in many places (the best ones, the juiciest, come from our own garden) but we always buy from him. We never ask for change and sometimes give him much more than he asks. We buy him shirts and sarongs from time to time. He had an accident with his tricycle and could not afford the repairs. We paid. I say these things not to boast but to suggest that people who complain about beggars and street vendors being out to cheat everybody would feel much better in themselves if they changed their outlook on life. It is a selfish thing – ditch the begrudgery and give. You will enjoy it. We are not rich but it does not break our bank account to give the Lime Man a little extra. He feels better for our giving and we feel better too. Win win.