Tiny Tim

Fictional Character

Born: 1843
Birthplace: Fiction
Best known as: The sickly tyke in A Christmas Carol
Tim Cratchit -- better known as Tiny Tim -- is the crippled youngster in the 1843 Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. Tim is a sickly little boy who walks with a crutch; his father, Bob Cratchit, works for the wealthy miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Tiny Tim is cheerful in the face of his illness, and his plucky prayer "God bless us every one!" is the counterpoint to Scrooge's dismissive grunts of "Bah, humbug!" Tiny Tim has a small role in the book, but an important one: When Scrooge is shown a vision of the future in which Tiny Tim dies, he is shaken from his grumpy ways and takes it upon himself to become a "second father" to Tiny Tim and pay for the boy's cure. The story ends with assurances that Tiny Tim did not die after all, and with Scrooge a changed man who understands the meaning of Christmas.
Extra credit: Tiny Tim's illness is not named in A Christmas Carol. In 1992 a pediatrician, Dr. Donald Lewis, said in The American Journal of Diseases of Children that Dickens' description sounded most like a distal renal tubular acidosis, or kidney disease... Tiny Tim was also the stage name of Herbert Khaury (1932-1996), an absurdist ukelele-playing pop singer of the 1960s.

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