While waiting to cross Fifth Avenue near Fendi, a woman noticed a forgotten ribbon dropped on the sidewalk. There was something about the color of the fabric, a cool lilac, her favorite shade, that seemed appropriate to the day.

The light turned. Nudged forward by the crowd and the enthusiasm of Santa’s shrill bell ringing, she stepped off the curb and heard a stranger whisper, “Beyond snow angels / and glittering shop windows / –a quiet park bench.”

The traffic cop motioned frantically, so the woman kept walking. She looked back and saw a man smiling—holding the ribbon.

—Sharon Rousseau

(This fable was inspired by an overheard story with completely different details. Sharon wishes everyone a happy holiday season filled with fun and a few quiet moments.)