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Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

Have you ever left anything on top of your car, forgotten it and driven off? How would it be if somebody else left YOUR house keys and YOUR car keys on top of THEIR car as they waved you goodbye? This is a true story. It happened to a friend of mine. Both sets of keys weren't missed until the forgetful driver had long gone. Replacing keys is an expensive and troublesome process; my friend wanted to see first if he couldn't find them somewhere on the route the other car had taken. No luck, obviously. But he was desperate, so he asked in several villages along the way if anybody had found them. These are small villages and everybody knows everything that happens.

"Yes," said a chap, "Fred Bloggs found a set of house keys and he took them to the Police Station in CA", - the nearest town with a manned cop shop. My friend raced off and yes, they had his house keys. But not his car keys. Unwilling to give up hope, he set off again the next day. Somebody might have found them in the meantime and handed them in. "Sorry, no". And then my friend had a brainwave. If the house keys had been found in the village of A. by the big bend, perhaps the car keys had been catapulted off the roof at the same bend. He set off a third time, parked his car and walked along the bend. And there his car keys were,  safe and sound; a kind stranger had picked them up and put them on the wall of the bridge between the road and the little river running beside it.