A Kind Man on the Road

One evening in the summer of 1957, an old woman left for her son-in-law’s at Sadanggol, Pudok-ri, Jaeryong County, South Hwanghae Province.

As she reached the main road, she heard the sound of a car’s horn.

A car drew up beside her.

“Old lady!” called a gentleman of noble bearing, climbing out.

She turned, thinking he was going to ask the way. But his question was something unexpected.

“Where are you going?”

“To my son-in-law’s.”

“Where does he live?”

“At Sadanggol”

“Are you going straight along this road?”

“Yes, his house is near the road.”

“Then get in.”

The elderly woman was perplexed. Who might this kind-hearted man be?

The gentleman led her inside by the hand, placed her walking-stick and parcel on the back seat and closed the door for her. She cast furtive glances at him, for he looked familiar, but she could not decide who he was.

As the car went along, he asked her if she felt car sick, and how many children she had. Expressing his concern for her hard life, he wished that she would live long to see better times.

She was still searching her mind, thinking, “Who can this kind-hearted man be?”

At last, the car pulled up at the fork towards Sadanggol.

“How can I go, sir, without knowing who you are? You are so kind-hearted,” said the woman, hesitating to get off.

The man smiled, helped her get down and handed her her parcel and walking-stick. “I wish you a long life, old lady,” he said. “Take care on the way.”

Touched, the woman stood stock-still, and watched the car pull away.

Another car came behind, and a young man informed her that the man had been Kim Il Sung. She dropped her parcel and plumped down, saying: “Good heavens! I didn’t recognize the leader whom I had so much wanted to see.”

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