“It’s that time,”
Mac said. He pointed at the stars twinkling in the sky.
“What time is
that?” Ian finished nibbling a handful of acorns.
time,” Mac said. “Aren’t you tired and ready for bed?”
“I just finished
eating. If I go to bed now, I’ll not sleep well, but go ahead and tell me
one anyway. I’ll lie here quietly and listen.” Ian lay on a branch. “I’m
“You’ll love this
story. My great great auntie, Andrina, owned a sweetie shop in a nearby
village. She had jars of lollipops in every shape, size and color you can
imagine. She also had flavors, like strawberry and cherry and licorice and
green apple. Each lollipop flavor was kept in a different jar. They were
big jars, about the size of our arms, but wider. Whenever anyone came into
the sweetie shop, Auntie Andrina let them pick whatever flavor, size,
shape and color they wanted. Do you know what the favorite flavor was?”
Ian scratched his
chin. “I like fruit punch the best.”
“That might be
true, but most people liked the haggis flavored lollipops,” Mac said.
That sounds horrible. Nobody would want to eat a haggis flavored lollipop.
Come on now, Mac. Stop tormenting me.” Ian scoffed.
“I am not teasing
you. I’m telling you the truth. She did have a lot of sweet lollipops, but
she also had meat pie, sausage roll, haggis, cloutie dumpling, blood
pudding and gammon steak flavored ones.”
disgusting.” Ian’s eyes rolled in his head.
“Not if you’re a
dragon,” Mac said.
“Dragon? You mean
dragons came into her sweetie shop?” Ian suddenly became more interested
in the story.
“Oh yes. Some of
her best customers were dragons. Of course, dragons don’t have money, but
they do have jewels and gold, so they could buy as many lollipops as they
wanted and they did. Her best customer was an orange dragon named Grunch.
He came in every single morning to buy a bag of lollipops. Haggis was his
favorite, but he always bought a few tangerine flavored lollipops too.
Auntie Andrina would put them in a brown paper bag and Grunch would leave
an emerald or a ruby, or sometimes a sapphire or diamond for payment. One
day Grunch came in and he bought ten bags full. Auntie Andrina gasped when
he wanted that much. He told her that he was having a party and they
weren’t all for him, but he lied. They were all for him. He left ten gold
coins on the counter and flew off with the bags of lollipops.
“He flew up to his
cave on the top of the mountain and opened the first bag. It was full of
square lime lollipops that were as big as his finger. He licked them until
they were all gone and tossed the lollipop stick away. The next bag had
mushroom-shaped pearl onion lollipops. They were bright blue and the size
of a big mushroom. Grunch ate every single blue lollipop. He loved pearl
onions. The third bag was full of round lemon drop lollipops. Grunch
thought they were very sour, but he ate every single one. A huge pile of
lollipop sticks sat next to him. The next bag had meat pie flavored
lollipops. The next had blood pudding flavored and the others tasted of
fish and chips, roasted pork, haggis, sausage roll, and salt and vinegar
crisp flavors. Grunch ate every single lollipop. When he finished he
licked his sticky fingers clean and sat with his back against the cave
wall. His tummy bulged and he felt quite sick. He was so sick that he
didn’t go back to Auntie Andrina’s sweetie shop for seven days.
“When he finally
did go back, he took one jewel and bought one bag and made it last all day
long. Well, what did you think of that story?”
“I’m thinking I
wish I had some of those fish and chip flavored lollipops. What happened
to the sweetie shop?” Ian rubbed his tummy.
sold it to the dragons. They ran it for several years and then it went out
of business because they would eat all the lollipops themselves instead of
selling them to their customers. Are you ready for bed now?”
“I will be once
you sing me a song. Sing to me.” Ian curled up in a ball.
“A song? All
right. I’ve got one for you,” Mac said.
Andrina’s sweetie shop
Was the best shop in the land.
People and dragons came inside
And left with lollipops in their hand;
Auntie Andrina’s sweetie shop
Was the best shop in town;
People and dragons left with a smile
And never showed her a frown.
They ate her lollipops day and night,
No matter if it was sunny or rain,
They ate lemon drop, or tangerine,
Or fish and chips and candy cane;
Oh, Auntie Andrina’s sweetie shop
Was the best shop there ever was.
People and dragons ate all colors
Like sky blue and emerald moss.’
When Mac looked
over, Ian was asleep, a smile spread across his patched face.