Leaving Sweet, Unexpected Dents on the Day

Let me show you something, the man behind the counter at the post office says.

I was looking for a sheet of stamps I could fit in my wallet, I’d told him. I liked the frog stamps, I’d told him.

He picks up the sheet of frogs, Pacific tree frog, northern leopard frog, squirrel tree frog.

The sheet is two stamps across, six down. Every two rows, there is a little white strip, four in total, front and back.

Gently, the man peels back the two strips on the front, turns the sheet over, does the same on the back. Then he accordions the sheet into a wallet-size. He is giving me more than he is required to.

No way! I pick up the frog stamp sandwich. I send a few letters a week. I spend time with sheets of stamps. It never occurred to me why the white strips were there. It’s nice when someone shares a small wonder of the world. Or at least postage.

The man behind the counter nods. I pick up the frogs, who fit easily into my wallet. Thanks! I say to him.

Another small wonder: when people do the things they don’t have to do, it can leave a sweet, unexpected dent on the day.

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