"Gavroche was a whirlwind. They saw him incessantly, they heard him constantly. He filled the air, being everywhere at once....He vexed the loungers, he excited the idle, he reanimated the weary, provoked the thoughtful, kept some in cheerfulness, others in breath, others in anger, all in motion! Piqued a student, was biting to a working man ; took position, stopped, started on, flitted above the tumolt and the effort, leaped from these to those, murmured, hummed, and stirred up the whole train; the fly on the revolutionary coach!"
I feel, for the first time, like I belong to something greater than myself. I am young, yes, and I am small. It’s easy to laugh and say, “Gavroche, there’s plenty out there that’s larger and greater than you are.” I know that. But I’ve never been a part of anything this way. They could shoo me away if they wanted to, tell me to go back to the streets or to bother someone my own size. But they don’t. They listen to me, and they even find value in my just being me.
They know — it wasn’t long ago most of the ABC were just my age. And maybe they were better off then than I am now, but none of that matters today because we’re all fighting the same fight. We’re fighting the people’s battle, and I won’t back away from it. I may be little now, but someday I’ll grow to be big and tough. And anyone who stands in our way now had better hope he doesn’t cross my path when I’ve got the brawn to back up my spirit.
I’ve been small my entire life, and I don’t just mean in stature. Street dwellers like me live in the cracks and corners of the world, and “home” is a transient concept. Right now, home is with the ABC, and if we succeed, people like me — and those who have had it better, worse and in between — may find some comfort in calling France their home.
I may be small now. But until I grow older and bigger, I’ll use “little” to my advantage — to our advantage.