What is his purpose on earth
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The people in the story treat the old man as an oddity, but not as a supernatural oddity: more a freak of nature than something beyond nature. The old man appears to be nothing more than a frail human with wings, and so his status as an angel is endlessly debated. Still he becomes a an oddity for onlookers. It is only a neighbour woman who informs them that the old man is an angel. She tells them that it was on its way for their sick child.