THIS is a small story.

When Annie was six, her mother gave birth to a boy.   Ever since the baby was brought home from the hospital, there wasn't a day without crying from the baby. He was always cranky in his sleep or even sucking milk or having his bath as if he was in constant pain.

He was a sick baby. Annie could smell strong medicine odor from the baby cot when she popped in to see her little brother. " don't cry, baby. I'm your big sister." Instantly, the baby stopped crying  with teary eyes that kept staring at Annie.

What was wrong with the baby ? Just then, Annie overheard her parents talking in the next room. Although Annie was only six, she understood when her parents spoke in a low voice away from anyone, it must be something urgent or important or even critically desperate that they were discussing.

Curious, Annie tiptoed right near the door. She heard her father saying " it's too expensive we can't afford to pay for the doctor fee. We are still three months behind house and car repayment ."

Annie heard her mother sobbing. " there left only a MIRACLE to save our poor son, nothing else could help!"

Annie was wondering : What is this thing called MIRACLE and why can't my father go and get one if it can stop  the baby from crying all the time ?

Abruptly, Annie rushed in her room and pulled out from her piggy bank a dollar and ran out to the grocery store somewhere not far from her house hoping somehow she could buy a MIRACLE for her sick brother.

It was a weekend afternoon and not too packed at the counter. Annie squeezed in the few customers that were lining up and the cashier said to her "hello little girl, what can I do for you?"

Annie gasped. "I want to buy a MIRACLE."

"Sorry, a what ?" was all the confused cashier could mutter.

"My brother is very sick. I want to buy a MIRACLE !" Annie was almost in tears.

The cashier was not a person who had a way with kids' talk. she called out helplessly "who can help this little girl ? We don't sell any miracle here."

Someone in the queue had been watching  this dramatic incident and the gentleman was actually a brain surgeon in the local hospital.

He bent down and asked little Annie "what kind of miracle your little brother wants?"

"I don't know. My daddy and mommy say only a MIRACLE can save my brother. He is very sick."

"How much do you have ?" the doctor was trying to inquire further. He was showing some eagerness in this case.

Annie gave him the one dollar straightaway. "I have one dollar." she said.

The doctor took the money and said ,"I see. A miracle may just cost this amount of money. Let's go see your brother. I may be able to give you that MIRACLE you ask for."

A month later, Annie was playing happily with her little brother who was laughing and cackling after the successful operation.

Annie's mother was in the dark about who had actually settled all the surgical fees. "you mean to say an anonymous had paid for the operation? He must have spent a lot of money then."

However, deep down in the doctor's heart, he was saying "it cost only a dollar and a little girl's FAITH!"

968 - 8 - 2 - US