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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Sweetie Shop


Tryamon slipped her hand into her fathers and squeezed. “Where are we going, Daddy?”

Maldue glanced down at his daughter. “Today is a special day. Today is 'Tryamon can have anything she wants from the sweetie shop day'.”

“The sweetie shop? I can have whatever I want? Oh, Daddy.” Using her free hand, she hugged his leg.

They walked in silence, passing the butcher shop, the fishmonger, and the newspaper stand. When they walked by the bakery, Maldue said, “Perhaps you'd rather go into the bakery today?” He took a deep breath. “I smell rhubarb crumble, rock cakes,  treacle tarts, chocolate cakes with chocolate buttercream icing, raisin scones, vanilla cakes with cherries, potato scones...”

“Stop it, Daddy. You're making me hungry. Daddy, sing me the Jeely Piece Song.” Tryamon looked up into his moss green eyes.

“The Jeely Piece Song? I've not sang that for years. Let's see if I can remember how it goes.

Oh ye  cannae fling pieces oot a twenty story flat,
700 hungry weans will testify tae that.
If it's butter, cheese, or jeely, if the breed be plain or pan,
The odds of it reaching earth are 99 to wan.”            

Tryamon held her tummy while she laughed. “I love that song, Daddy.”

“I've gone and proper embarrassed myself now, lass. Mrs. McGregor thinks I'm off ma heed.” Maldue took Tryamon's hand. “We're off to the sweetie shop. I can't show my face inside the bakery now.”

“You're silly, Daddy.” Tryamon skipped as they headed down the road. “Daddy, tell me again while you called me Tryamon.”

“Why we called you that? When I was born and my father named me, he was a professor at the University. He studied J.R. Tolkein and other fantasy writers. Fantasy was always on his mind. He selected my name, Maldue, because it means wizard. I suppose the reason I named you Tryamon is because when I first saw those pretty blue eyes, I thought of a fairy and pictured you with gossamer wings, flying into my life.”

“I like that story. Here we are at Arthur's Sweetie Shop. He's got a hundred jars filled with all sorts of sweeties. I'm going to have fun picking out different ones. Do I have to get them all in one bag, or can I get a lot of different bags? The bags are colorful.” Tryamon walked in after her father opened the door.

“It smells lovely in here too.” Maldue sniffed the air. “Go on now. Pick out whatever you want.”

Tryamon marched up to the counter. “Arthur, my daddy said I could have any sweeties I wanted. I want them all in different bags.”

Arthur leaned over to see the brown-haired girl. “Oh, he did, did he? What's the special occasion? Is it your birthday?

“No,” Tryamon chuckled. “It's 'Tryamon can have anything she wants from the sweetie shop day'.”

“That's very kind of your dad. What will it be then, lass?” Arthur picked up a scoop and a dozen bags.

Tryamon's gaze wandered from jar to jar. “I think I'll start with some Licorice Allsorts. Don't put in any of those icky ones covered with tiny beads. You know, the pink and blue ones. I don't like them.”

Arthur picked one out of the scoop. “You mean these?”

“Yes, those. I don't want any of them.” Tryamon watched as Arthur filled one of the bags. “Next I want to have some humbugs, marzipan fruits, toffees, lollipops, and sugar plums.”

“Slow down, Tryamon. You'll confuse Arthur.” Her father shook his head back and forth.

Tryamon looked at each jar. “I never knew there were so many colors of sweeties.”

“You could say there is a menagerie of sweeties in my shop,” Arthur said. “I like to have a variety to choose from.” He filled up bags with brown humbugs, assorted marzipans, foil-wrapped toffees, sugar-dusted lollipops and snowcaps. “There. I think I got them all. Will there be anything else, Tryamon?”

“I missed the sweeties on the top shelf.” She gazed up at the taller jars. “I want a bag of Edinburgh Rock bites, not the sticks, some sherbet fountains, fruit gums, turkish delight and chocolate buttons.”

“You're teeth will rot. I hope you aren't planning to eat this all at one time.” Arthur pulled the jars off the shelf and filled the bags. “There. Here is everything you've asked for. I'll put all these wee bags into a bigger bag with handles.”

Tryamon took the bag and she and her father left the shop. “You're not going to eat all of that, are you?”

“Daddy, not all at once. I'm going to have a tea party and invite Maggie, Emma and Fiona over. Mum can fix us tea and instead of having tea cakes and tarts with kiwi, we'll have sweeties.”

“You're going to share. Very good, Tryamon.” Maldue roared with laughter as they ran across the street. He stopped to buy a bouquet of fresh flowers for his wife, Anne.

“Mum will like those. Pink carnations are her favorite. What was that big word Arthur used?” Tryamon squinted as she faced the afternoon sun.

“Menagerie?”

“Yes, mangree. That means lots of different sorts of sweeties, doesn't it, Daddy?”

“My sweet fairy, you're more an angel than anything else. Come on. Let's hurry home. Mum's cooking your favorite supper tonight, eggs, beans and chips.” Maldue picked his daughter up, held her in his arms, embracing her with love. “I love you, Tryamon.”

“I love you too, Daddy. This is the best 'Tryamon can have anything she wants from the sweetie shop day' that I've ever had.”

Father and daughter strolled towards home as the sky flared with sunset reds, oranges, pinks, purples and blues.


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