A Story for Children

JUST as the sun was peeping over the horizon, Ah Wong's father woke him up. It was a festival day, the feast of the Lanterns - a day when people in China really enjoy themselves and forget all their troubles and visit their friends.

As Ah Wong walked. with his father, amidst the clatter of the narrow streets lit with quaint and brilliant lanterns, he saw two sweetfaced women, dressed in a strange fashion. They smiled at him as he passed, and he stood there looking after them.

Suddenly, he noticed that they had dropped something. He ran to pick it up. Ah Wong found a little black Cross with a figure on it. He looked at it very carefully, but when he looked up, the Sisters had disappeared.

With all the firmness of a 10-year-old, Ah Wong made up his mind to return the Cross to its owners. For safe-keeping; he put it carefully inside his coat.

The rest of the day passed quickly and enjoyably for Ah Wong, and since all good things must come to an end, Ah Wong and his father went back to their house by the river.

Ah Wong hid the crucifix with all his other treasures and soon fell asleep. He did not leave the river for three years, but he still wondered how he could return the little Cross.

He would take it out and examine it every day and wonder what. it meant. Who and why was the Man nailed to the Cross? He thought how terrible it must be to die in such a way! He found himself loving the Cross in pity for the poor, suffering body on it.

Ah Wong kept the Cross with him always, for it seemed he always found more eggs and caught more fish when he had it with him.

• • • •
A terrible plague broke out, and Ah Wong lost both his parents. He was heartbroken. His only comfort was the little black Cross that he had found. Ah Wong took up his father's work, and one day while in the city he saw two robed figures that he well remembered.

Running as fast as he could, he caught up with them and told them how he had found their Cross. The Sisters recognised the Cross and were pleased at having found it again. Ah Wong became good friends with the Sisters. He went to the orphanage with them. Here he saw many children. Some were sick, blind or crippled - but they seemed very happy. A Sister told him the story of the Cross, and the tears ran down his cheek. Ah Wong went home with the Cross, because the Sister gave it to him for his very own. He visited the orphanage many times after that. Finally, he was baptized and soon made his First Holy Communion. Ah Wong grew up to be a fine man: He brought many of the river people to know God. The Sisters at the orphanage called him "Ah Wong of the Cross."


The Malayan Catholic News, 1957

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