Once upon a time there was a sock matcher, he always wore matching socks. Sometimes he would wear polka dotted socks and other times socks with square shapes. When all the kids would play on the grass outside he would stay indoors. He didn’t like taking his socks off because he felt they made him special and unique. His friends would ask him to come outside and play but something always stopped him.
The next day he overheard George, one of his classmates, speak about countries that he had visited. “Oh, I’ve been to Sri Lanka”, George said. “My mother took me there on a trip at the age of 6. I remember that people there were so thin, like tooth pics! My mom called it “hunger” and I wasn’t so sure what she meant. One day I went up to one of the toothpick men and called him by his name, “hunger”. He looked at me confused and I tried to understand how he couldn’t remember his own name. When he approached me, I saw his daze reach the muddy floor as he noticed my shoes”. He smiled. But, when I looked at his feet, I saw that they were bruised, dry, and had cuts all around. When I offered him my shoes, I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t take them.
Then, I noticed him smile as he sunk his feet deep into the muddy ground. Soon, I could see his smile turn into a giggle, and then to an uncontrollable laugh. I decided to do the same, I took off my polka dotted socks and felt the mud squeeze its way in between my toes. It felt wet, warm, like something I had never felt before but when the toothpick man smiled at me we began to laugh as the hot mud buried our feet deep into the ground. My first encounter with hunger was that he laughed at the world that was afraid of him, felt pity for him. Judged him because how he looked on the outside, bruised, thin, and beaten. But when I let hunger show me what he sees, what he feels, what makes him happy in his life, I began to understand him. Although he may have looked defeated by the world on the outside, he showed me how people will surprise you if you only give them the chance.
When George finished his story the sock matcher decided that he too wanted to know hunger. He felt it in the pit of his stomach, so he walked outside where the kids play, took off his shoes and slipped off his colorful socks. He began to run on the playing field without knowing why. He began to laugh as he ran and realized that by feeling hunger, he was really alive.