http://revach.net/article.php?id=1901

Section:  Avodah   Category: General
Little Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Wanted The Money
As a child in the legendary Yerushalayim Cheider, Eitz Chaim, Rav Shlomo Zalman was a prodigy.  His family lived in poverty yet his Hasmada and diligence despite his frail health and constant hunger were legendary even back then.  It is told that when the first "Horseless Wagon" (a.k.a. car) rolled into the streets of Yerushalayim all the children in the cheider ran out to see it, except little Shlomo Zalman who remained glued to his seat learning without interruption.

There was one inexplicable phenomenon which always puzzled his Rebbeim and peers.  The children of the cheider would be tested on Mishnayos and gemara Ba'al Peh.  Rav Shlomo Zalman always knew more than everyone else.  When it came time to choosing a prize, while most of the other children chose seforim, Rav Shlomo Zalman always asked for money.  No one could figure out why the saintly child who needed nothing in this world would forego the opportunity to get a Sefer and opt for money instead.

When Rav Shlomo Zalman had amassed enough prize money he went to the store and bought a hearing aid for his mother who was hard of hearing.  The mystery was solved.  No sefer was as precious to him as opening his mother's world open up again to all the wonderful sounds around her.