When Mr. Larry Hutchins clocked 90, the thought of not having a will crossed his mind. So one day, he dressed up as a homeless man and went to his grocery store searching for his next heir. However, that wasn’t easy for him.
Mr. Hutchins was 90 years old, wealthy, and the owner of Texas’ largest grocery store. Appearance-wise, the man was quite attractive for his age, with hazelnut eyes and a greyish shine to his hair, but his business never gave him the time to use his charm, and thus, he had neither a wife nor children.
As Mr. Hutchins grew older, the prospect of not having an heir began to bother him. Who would be the heir to my estate if I died? Mr. Hutchins deliberated one day.
He wasn’t really the philanthropist type to donate everything to charity because he wanted to give it to someone who would genuinely appreciate it. And though giving everything to a friend was yet another option, Mr. Hutchins wasn’t up for it because you have more foes than friends in a business setting, and Mr. Hutchins had learned the hard way.
So when he ran out of options, he called his lawyer, Mr. William Carter, and asked for advice. “What are your thoughts, William?” Mr. Hutchins asked his lawyer on call. “I thought about, it but I can’t make up my mind.”
“Well, Mr. Hutchins, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to give it to a charity, so let’s rule that out first. Do you have any known distant relatives?”
“When you’re orphaned at a young age, no one wants to take your responsibility, Will,” Mr. Hutchins reflected on his tragic past. “I came to Texas with almost nothing, and it took me several years to establish myself. So I’d like to give it to someone who understands the true meaning of it, rather than someone based on blood relations.”
“Well, sir, I see this isn’t a typical case. I’ll think about it if you give me some time. Let’s have a meeting this coming Friday. By then, I’d have thought of something.”
“Sure, Will,” Mr. Hutchins said then hung up the phone. However, based on William’s response, he was convinced he would not be able to solve his problems anytime soon.
The day after the call, Mr. Hutchins sat in his study with a notepad, making a list of potential heirs to his estate. Several hours had passed, and not a single name was added to the list.
Dejected, Mr. Hutchins threw his pen in frustration and prepared to leave. But just then, an idea struck him. How about putting my employees to the test? Mr. Hutchins paused. I mean, there may be someone out there who, like me, understands how the fruits of one’s hard work feel.
The next day, he dressed in his oldest attire and bought a second-hand cane. He also wore a fake beard before heading to his destination – his grocery.
“Go away, old man!” the cashier, Lincy, yelled. “People like you are not allowed in here!”
“But ma’am, I’m just here for some food. I haven’t eaten in days. I need your help,” Mr. Hutchins begged.
“Well, then, I guess you’re in the wrong place,” Lincy said coldly. “Homeless people like you beg on the streets. You don’t deserve to be in such a posh establishment!”
Yikes, I definitely have some mean employees. Maybe I’ll be able to find my heir among the customers. Mr. Hutchins thought and walked along the food shelves, but he had no luck there as well.
“Who the hell let this man in here?” yelled a woman in the line. “Wait, don’t get too close. You smell like garbage meat!”
“But ma’am…” Before Mr. Hutchins could finish his sentence, he was cut off.
“I know, right!” exclaimed another man. “Give him some money and shoo him away.”
When Mr. Hutchins tried explaining to them that all he wanted was some food, a saleswoman approached him. “You need to get out of here right now! Our customers are voicing their dissatisfaction, and we can’t let that go! By the way, how did you even get in, huh? Didn’t the guards stop you?”
“Yes, please, Linda,” Mr. Drummonds, a regular at the store, said. “Get him away from my eyesight, or I am never revisiting this store! And tell the guards not to let such scumbags in!”
“Sorry for the inconvenience, sir,” Linda apologized. “I’ll have him escorted right now!”
Wow! This store really hosts some of the meanest human beings! Mr. Hutchins thought as he prepared to leave. But just then, a voice from behind stopped him. “Everyone, get away from the old man!”
Mr. Hutchins turned around and saw his store administrator, Lewis, standing there. He was 25, a student who had dropped out of college due to financial issues, and probably the youngest in the store.
“But Lewis, do you think Mr. Hutchins would have tolerated such a man at the store?” Lucy said. “I’m sure he wouldn’t have let him in!”
“I know Mr. Hutchins better than you, Lincy, so get back to your work before I report this to him,” he said and then turned to Mr. Hutchins. “Please come with me, sir. I apologize for my staff’s rude behavior.”
Lewis brought Mr. Hutchins inside, fetched a basket, and went around the store, filling it with groceries. When he paid the bill and handed over the groceries, Mr. Hutchins’ eyes welled up. “Thank you, young man,” he said, his voice trembling. “By the way, would you mind if I asked you a question?”
“Sure, sir,” Lewis replied, smiling.
“Why did you go against everyone to feed a homeless man like me?” Mr. Hutchins inquired, perplexed. “I mean, you could have kicked me out, and your boss would never have known.”
“Well, sir,” Lewis continued, “there was a time when I came to my boss looking for work. I didn’t have anything with me. I didn’t even have a place to stay, and I was inexperienced. But Mr. Hutchins, my boss, offered me a job and paid for a small apartment on the condition that I work hard. That day, I realized how important it is to be kind to others.”
Mr. Hutchins gave him a friendly smile. Here’s where your search ends, Larry, he thought to himself. You finally found your heir. He thanked Lewis once again for his generosity and walked away.
Seven years later, when Mr. Hutchins left for his heavenly abode, Lewis received a call from Mr. Carter. He informed Lewis that Mr. Hutchins had left him everything, including a short letter, which explained his homeless disguise and why he chose him as his inheritor.
What can we learn from this story?
- Learn to be kind and respect others. The way Lewis treated Mr. Hutchins is a brilliant example of this.
- Good things happen to good people. Mr. Hucthins was moved by Lewis’ sincerity and hard work and decided to choose him as his heir.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a little boy who pays for a starving old lady’s groceries then asks her to make a wish.
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