A Child's Fairy Tale

Listen, Children. 

This story has the substance of a fairy tale—an unloved and ugly child watches as his mother, his only refuge, suddenly dies. With fear and anger, young Stephen runs away from home—with only coins in his pocket to the wide and mysterious sea where the roughness of ship life would hide the nature of his bulging and sightless eye.

It might be supposed that he turned his good left eye to the heavens to ask why he had been so maligned, not knowing that within his excellent brain he carried a blessing—the beginnings of a prodigious and powerful mind.

The boy grew into manhood, from cabin boy to captain, learning all there was to know about sailing and commerce with nations beyond his native France. Perhaps it was in answer to a prayer or just the vagaries of war that his ship came into harbor at the American city of Philadelphia.

The fairy tale continues.

British ships blocked the harbor, assuring the young man would have to stay. One day Stephen saw a beautiful princess drawing water from a pump. Not really a princess, but beautiful all the same. She looked into his face but saw only the beauty of his mind and kindness in his smile. They fell in love and married.

Stephen soon became the richest man in all America, saving his adoptive country from disease and financial ruin.

Children, this man was Stephen Girard.

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