A sign of Appreciation


Misako was one of six tellers in a neighborhood bank. She was a friendly person by nature, and made it a point to smile at all the depositors who came in.

The smile had a special effect on one old man. He had been coming to the bank every morning for years to make a small deposit. But he never really felt welcome until Misako was added to the bank's staff. He always wore old working clothes, the odor of which made it obvious to everyone that he worked at the large fish market down the street. The cold attitude of the clerks indicated clearly that they did not enjoy waiting on this particular customer.

Shortly after Misako became a teller, the other workers were relieved of the need to take the old man's deposit. For he decided that he wanted Misako to wait on him every morning.

Then the time came for Misako's marriage, when she was to quit her job. The old man came as usual on her last day of work. He made his deposit as usual, but after he left, Misako noticed that he had forgotten a small manila envelope.

She waited until lunch time and then headed for the fish market. It was a big shop and she did not know where to find the old man. So she asked for the boss.

To Misako's surprise, she found that the man she was looking for was the boss of the whole market. She further found that he had not forgotten the envelope. It was meant for her. "Just a little wedding present," he explained. "A sign of appreciation for the kindness you always showed me at the bank."

The girl's eyes filled with tears as she thanked him. When she opened the envelope, she found two crisp 10,000 yen bills.