Every time we went for a walk to the nearby park, there was an old man sitting in his folding chair. It was always the same chair, with black and white stripes. And it was always the same place – under a tree close to the eastern gate of the park.

He always sat there for hours. He was either reading his newspaper or watching the children play the ball or he was just looking up at the sky.

He always brought hot tea or coffee with him and drank it from his big red thermo bottle. He never shared with anyone. He never talked to anyone. He was always alone.

At five o’clock he always got up and folded his chair and slowly left the park through the eastern gate. Next day, he came again at one o’clock.

Many people noticed him and we all got used to seeing him there every day, for over three years. He never changed his routine. He always came and left at the same hour.

Three days ago, we went to the park again, but we didn’t see the old man. He was not there. I noticed that many people were stopping to look at the tree, under which he used to sit every day. But he was not there.

On the following day we went to the park again and we hoped to see the old man in his chair, but he didn’t come. And he didn’t come on the next day either. Today we went for a walk again, but the man was not there.

Someone had just put an empty folding chair at his old place under the tree.

a folding chair under a tree in the park - jan vrabec - sparrow's english reader - Level 3 English - for students
an empty folding chair under a tree / blog: L-3: Old Man in the Park

folding /ˈfəʊldɪŋ/ – (skladací) – (of a piece of furniture, a bicycle, etc.) that can be folded, so that it can be carried or stored in a small space

stripe /straɪp/ – (pruh) – a long narrow line of colour, that is a different colour from the areas next to it