‘Green Dale’ was a small hill station, where everyone knew everyone. Most of the inhabitants of this small sleepy town had opened a shop each to cater to the needs of the townsfolk as well as the tourists of which there were many. People from nearby towns and cities as well as small villages liked to come to ‘Green Dale’ for short holidays. The town had a Post Office, a Police Station and a small Hospital. There was one School, a College and a Hostel for both boys and girls. The town had one good Hotel, one Motel but several small inns and paying guest accommodations. The town’s Church was in the middle with gardens surrounding it. The town also had a small Museum and several shops which sold handmade gift items.

Mr. Swift had a tailoring shop while his brother was a butcher. Penny Goldsmith was the local women’s Hairdresser while her husband Paul had his own Men’s Salon. Jeffery Smith had opened a General Store while his wife Nadine sold jewellery. Mr. Sobers was in charge of the local Club and his uncle Theodore had opened a Stationery Shop. Clothes both readymade and otherwise were sold by the Bennets. Matt and Pete were brothers who owned the shop called ‘The Cloth Shop’, whole their wives Gabby and Millie, both sisters, helped in the Ladies Boutique attached to the Cloth Store. Every item from lingerie to coats could be obtained here together with all types of material. Angie was the local Florist whose shop also sold gift items.

The main street of ‘Green Dale’ named ‘Rose Street’ was the home of ‘Yummies’, the one and only Restaurant in this small town. It was owned by Giles Denver, a tall lanky man, who was both a master Chef as well as a beautifully mannered man. His charm was such that anyone visiting ‘Yummies’ always found time to come again. The restaurant had a quaint look and at the door stood a Dwarf who ushered people in with a bow and a dazzling smile. Jacko, the dwarf was extremely loyal to his master Giles with whom he had been for nearly two years. The red and white painted Restaurant was quite large and pleasant music greeted the customers. The ambience was such that people relaxed instantly and Giles himself helped people choose what was best for them. Tea time rush at the ‘Yummies’ was indeed to be reckoned with because that was when Mrs. Hope served freshly baked tarts and quiches to the customers.

‘Yummies’ catered to all kinds of nationalities hence, Chinese, Japanese, Continental, Thai as well as some Indian dishes were prepared by different master cooks. Today the restaurant was booked for Pinky’s Birthday Party in the evening at 5. It was her sixteenth birthday and many guests had been invited. Sid and Sophia, Pinky’s parents were there at 4:30 to see if Giles needed any help. “Do sit down you two and have Coffee. Everything is ready for the party. Belinda, Mrs. Hope is putting finishing touches to the Chocolate and Vanilla Cake. Ronny has finished making the Cheese, Chicken and Ham Club Sandwiches. Moira has made small Sweet Buns and pastries, while Timothy has turned out lovely Mushroom and Cheese Patties.

The guest will be served Lemonade and Ginger Beer which will be on the house of course,” smiled Giles. “We can’t thank you enough you good man. You seem to have everything in order. All we need do is enjoy, it seems,” laughed Sid. Just then, Pinky arrived with her sister Ashley. She was looking fab in her new dress of Magenta and Grey Satin designed specially for her by Gabby and Millie of the Cloth Store Boutique. “Oh! Mr. Giles, I see you have cleared space in the middle for some dancing as well. How nice. Thanks a lot,” said Pinky. “You are welcome my dear. When are your friends arriving?” asked Giles. “They should be here any minute now,” replied Pinky twirling her skirt around. Just then the gang entered and the cake cutting ceremony took place with everything singing ‘Happy Birthday to you’. Jacko the dwarf had wished Pinky as she entered and had presented her with a bouquet of Red Roses. Pinky was delighted with the flowers and thanked Jacko again as he joined in the chorus of singing Birthday Songs. Next month was the time for a big dinner at ‘Yummies’. It was given by Mr. and Mrs. Roland Smith who were celebrating their 5th Marriage Anniversary. About thirty guests would be coming and Giles was busy with the shopping and preparations. He was going to make the Lemon Souffle Pudding for dessert himself while the rest of the menu had been divided between Belinds, Moira, Ronny and Timothy.

One day, while Giles was outside his restaurant talking to Jacko, a girl of about twenty something came near them and said – “You must be Mr. Giles. I’m Wendy. I have just been thrown out of my aunt’s house because she doesn’t like me staying there. My parents died last year and I stayed with Aunt Cathy in the neighbouring village. She doesn’t want me anymore and I have no place to go. If you will give me a chance, I could sing at Yummies for a pittance and a place to sleep.” “Well, I don’t know. What do you say Jacko, should we try Wendy out?” “Yes master, I think we should. First we have to hear her out.” So Wendy was asked to sing and her voice was so lovely that everyone at the restaurant clapped for more.

Every evening, Wendy sang beautifully for the customers and more people started visiting Yummies. Sometimes people waited outside for their turn at one of the tables. Moira had agreed to share her room with Wendy who was both well mannered as well as hard working. Throughout the day when Wendy was free, she helped everyone who wanted help doing odd jobs happily. Giles had developed a soft corner for Wendy and within 3 months of her arrival he asked her to be his wife. Everyone was happy for them and in the coming November, Giles and Wendy became husband and wife.

This evening, Belinda, Moira, Ronny and Timothy had thrown a private party for the newly weds and Yummies was sparking with coloured lights and Jacko had a special smile on his face which reflected happiness and satisfaction.

Contributing Story Teller:: Amita enjoys writing about her experiences as well as short stories for children and poems. Contact her at : amita17149@hotmail.com

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