Disclaimer: I don't own Newsies, sadly, they belong to Disney. Mac, however, is my own creation. Please read and review!

A/N: Mac is referred to as 'he' in this story because it takes place before the strike and before Mac's secret is revealed. For more details, please read Introducing Mac.

Some people, like my friends Specs and David, like to read books in their spare time. Others, like Les, Tumbler and Snipes, like to play and run about outside. Still others, like Crutchy, simply like to sit in the sun and talk to the people around them.

Me? I like to shine shoes.

Shoeshiner.

I made my living as a shoeshiner before I became a Newsie, and even once I became a Newsie, I continued in the trade. Why? Because I find it relaxing, I can socialise with upper- and middle-class people, and it brings some extra money in which, while never much, is always a bonus.

Shoeshiner.

I know exactly which brush and sponge to use on each shoe that is placed before me, and I can pick out the perfect colour polish with ease. I have often been complimented on a job well done, and I can't help but soak up the praise. I am, after all, only a lowly Newsie whom no-one respects, so kind words, when they come, mean a lot.

Shoeshiner.

I have a small group of regular customers, some of whom are rather generous. There have been a couple of very rare days where I have made more money shining shoes than I have selling papes! But this hardly ever happens and on average, I never make more than a dollar (though usually less!)

Shoeshiner.

I don't go every day, for example when it's raining, and on such days I spend a little time looking after the boots and shoes of my fellow Newsies. They do, after all, see a lot of wear and tear on a regular basis and none of us really has enough money to buy a new pair. (Although whenever a new pair is a necessity, we all pool our resources and see what we can do. I do know that Mac once gave up his entire week's savings to buy Snipes a much needed new pair for his birthday. Mac doesn't know I know, but I saw him in the shop.)

Shoeshiner.

So, that's what I do in my spare time. I shine shoes. And I love it. That's why I'm called Boots.

Boots the Shoeshiner.