A gang asked an old man to mind his own business after he stood up for a young boy. The next day, they were surprised to discover who the old man really was, causing them to start paying him respect.
A small rural town in Georgia housed many middle-aged people who worked hard to live comfortable lives. Most of them only reached high school, as they could not afford to go to college. It was normal that high school graduates went either of two ways: straight to work, or end up in jail.
Ben has lived in that town since his birth. As he was already 86, not a lot of his peers were still around to keep him company, so, he got a dog instead as his everyday companion.
Ben lived right in the center of the town’s busy street, which allows him to find out about what was happening in his community. He had retired long ago and finds entertainment by walking the town’s streets every day with his dog.
From time to time, Ben would host his children and grandchildren in his house, but since they lived in a different state, they couldn’t visit as much as he’d like. He was also a widower after his darling wife died almost a decade ago from a terminal illness.
One evening, as Ben and his dog were walking, they bumped into a woman who looked frantic. “What happened? Are you alright?” Ben asked her.
The woman was shaking and in tears. “A group of ‘rabid wolves’ offended my son and took his bag while he was walking to the gas station where I worked. He just called from a payphone, I need to go to him,” she said, almost stuttering.
“Where is your son right now?” Ben asked the woman. She pointed towards the area of town where the local bars were. He asked the woman to stay in the gas station, just in case the group chose to return.
Ben walked towards the street where the young boy was and saw him in an alley sitting with a violin case in his hand. He was crying.
“Son, are you alright? Your mom is worried about you. I will take you to her,” Ben told the boy.
“I did not do anything,” the boy admitted. “I was walking down the street when a group of men drove up by car and started to tease me for playing the violin. They took my backpack where I had my phone and my wallet.”
Ben shook his head. He took the young boy back to his mother and assured both of them that he would talk to the offenders so they wouldn’t bother the young boy, or anyone else, ever again.
When he heard the worried mother say “rabid wolves,” Ben already knew the group she was pertaining to. He went to the parking lot of a local bar where that group usually gathered.
He approached the gang members and asked them why they picked on a young boy. “Who cares? Mind your own business or else you’ll get it, old man,” the leader of the group replied.
“Who gave you the right to hurt young boys? Pick on someone your own size,” Ben said again.
One of the gang members walked up to him, meeting him face-to-face. “Look, old man, our gang’s been based here for decades. We get to decide how to behave, and how we talk to people. Understand that? Now, walk away before you get hurt.”
Ben decided not to ask for trouble that night, as he was with his dog. He was afraid they’d hurt the dog, which was something he did not want to happen.
The following day, Ben returned to the parking lot without his dog. He approached the gang again. “Who’s in charge around here?”
The gang laughed, shaking their heads. “This old man’s crazy,” one of them said. A big guy then emerged from the group, walking up to Ben.
“I’m the leader here. Now, didn’t I tell you to get lost yesterday?” he said, trying to intimidate Ben.
Ben shook his head. “From now on, you are not allowed to pick on innocent children, nor are you allowed to attack anyone who did no wrong,” he ordered.
The gang laughed, and slowly gathered behind their big boss, ready to attack. When he saw that he had everyone’s attention, Ben rolled up his sleeve.
Everyone was silent. He had a tattoo of a discolored wolf on his shoulder, the same tattoo that everybody in the gang had. “You’re part of the gang?” the leader asked.
“I’m ‘Terrible Ben.’ I’m not part of the gang, I made the gang,” Ben revealed. The big boss almost lost his balance as he backed up from being too close to Ben.
“I created the Rabid Wolves to fight crime in the area and to prevent outsiders from harming our locals. I didn’t create it to intimidate and bully others for no reason. I retired once I got older and started a family, but of course, I still remember the gang code that I once created with my peers. Now it seems YOU’RE forgetting it, ” Ben explained.
The leader of the gang looked down, embarrassed that he and his members forgot about why their gang existed in the first place. “I’m sorry,” the leader said. “We know how powerful the Rabid Wolves are, and we began to abuse that fact,” he admitted.
Since then, the Rabid Wolves never bothered anyone ever again. Instead, they looked out for the town and helped those around them.
One day, Ben was walking with his dog, when he noticed the boy with the violin. He had a new one, but this time, with a sticker of a wolf, like the one on Ben’s shoulder.
What can we learn from this story?
We should encourage children to pursue their passions, not tease them about it. The group of men picked on the young boy because he liked playing the violin, which was not common anymore. Instead of teasing kids about their passions, they should be encouraged to hone their talents and share them with the world.
Don’t judge a person by his appearance. Ben was brave to stand up for the young boy to the group of men despite his old age. The group judged Ben to be weak until they discovered who he really was.
Share this story with your loved ones. It might inspire them and make their day.
If you liked this story, you might like this one about a little girl who went door to door asking for a job, until the cops arrived and followed her trail to find out what was happening.