He takes the money from the little girl and asks ‘Can I spend this on anything I like?’ The little girl nods enthusiastically, so he takes her by the hand and goes to the nearest purveyor of ice cream. He buys her one and says ‘You earned it, kid. You just gave me a whole lot more than a pound.’ She skips away and everybody’s happy.
‘Hey kid,’ he calls after her. ‘What’s your name?’
And so it was that the beggar realised that life was worth living after all, and his little dog companion wagged its tail.
If only life could be as real as fantasy.