The Dreamy Palace
Harold Jenkins resided in the town of ‘Cream Brook’. He was short and fat and happy-go-lucky. He lived alone since his wife Mary had died recently. He had no children of his own but considered the town’s kids as his own.
Harold owned a Toy Shop called ‘The Dreamy Palace’ which he lived with all his heart. His assistant Colin looked after the shop for him. Harold was happy just sitting in the middle of his shop watching the children come and go with the toys of their choice.
He kept candies and toffees on a table next to where he sat in an easy chair, which he kept gobbling with delight and offered them to the kids visiting his shop.
“Did you get the new doll for Celia,” asked Harold. “Yes, Mr J I did. I got some extra too for anyone else who wants them,” answered Colin. Just then Celia came running into the shop. “Hi Mr J, do you have the new doll Sandy in your shop?” “Yes dear, Colin got it, especially for you dearie. Go to him and he will show you.”
“Thanks, Mr J. Oh! Colin, she’s beautiful. I’ll go and bring daddy and he will buy it for me. Just wait for a minute.” “Colin, pack it up and let Celia take it home. She can bring her dad later to pay for it.” “Right Mr. J. here you are Celia. I have put Sandy in her box. Do you want me to pack the box for you?” “No, no Colin, it is all right. I’ll just pop around the home and bring dad.”
While Celia went to get her dad Stephen, Eileen walked in with her mother Rita. She too wanted Sandy. Within the next couple of days, all the new dolls were sold out. “You will have to order another big supply of these dolls Colin. It seems all the little girls of ‘Cream Brook’ want them.” “True Mr J. I’ll call and order a dozen more in the morning.”
On Monday morning, little Jane arrived with her parents to their favourite top shop. It was her birthday and she wanted return favours for her friends who would be coming to her party in the evening.
There were colourful bags filled with goodies which she liked. The bag contained a bar of dark chocolate, lollipops, toffees, candies, balloons and little plastic dolls dressed as fairies. Jane took eight bags of different colors to give to each of her friends.
Little Joey had just turned and his Ma wanted to buy him a pulling toy. Colin showed her quite a few and she chose a truck filled with alphabetical blocks. “This is perfect Colin. Little Joe here can learn his A B C’s too while playing. Wrap it up please, will you. I’ll chat up Harold while I wait.” “Right you are Ma’am,” smiled Colin.
One evening the Perkins walked in with quite a crowd. “Hello Harold, I’ve brought my brother’s children to choose toys. They are staying with us for some time. What do you suggest for Rosy here? She is 6 years old. Her brothers Jude and Julian want mechanical toys.”
“Well Mr Perkins, you can buy the new Sandy doll for Rosy and Jude and Julian can choose from a number of mechanical toys stored on the left.” Myra Perkins wanted a garden set and a kitchen set for her three-year-old daughter Debbie who was running around the shop. At last, the Perkins went on their way with Mr Jenkins handing candies to each of the children.
The next evening Mr. & Mrs Martin came along to the Dreamy Palace to buy gifts for their friend’s five-year-old son. They bought a truck, a car, an engine and a soft toy. Colin got busy tying the parcels in shining red glazed paper. The gift tags had the shop’s name written on them and the Martin’s walked out happily carrying the various items.
The next month, Colin was going visiting his sister who lived in the next town and was not keeping too well. “How will you manage alone Mr. J,” asked his assistant with worry lines creasing his forehead. “Oh! Don’t worry, Colin. I’ll survive. You go and help Julia out and give her my love. I’m sure she will be better soon and you will be able to join me here again.” On Friday, Colin left for his sister’s with a heavy heart. He knew Mr J will have some difficulty managing alone.
Harold kept his shop closed on Sundays. He was resting in his garden having a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper when David his neighbour came through the gate.
“Hello, Harold. You really need to relax today. I hear the shop had lots of customers yesterday and you were managing alone. When will Colin come back?” “He will be coming back sometime next week David. Till then I have to manage alone. Don’t worry. Come and have coffee.”
“Thanks, Harold, I will. If you like, Greg can help you at the shop after school. He is a responsible lad and he is free after 3 in the afternoons.” “David, your son Greg is a gem. I would love to have him help at the shop. I’ll give him some pocket money too.” “There is no need to do that Harold. He is your son too. Well, I’ll send him tomorrow.” David put down his coffee cup and went back to his house through the garden door.
The coming week passed happily for both Mr Jenkins and his new assistant Greg. When Colin returned, Greg shook hands with his employer, collected his pocket money and said – “This was great Mr J. You can call me for help anytime you want. I’ll be glad to work at Dreamy Palace.”
Both Harold and Colin waved goodbye to Greg and went indoors to open the new boxes of dolls, building-sets, soft toys and many new toys which were going to be laid out on the shelves of the ‘Dreamy Palace’.
Contributing Story Teller:: Amita enjoys writing about her experiences as well as short stories for children and poems. Contact her at [email protected]
Liked this short story? Share your comments – [email protected]
Are you a storyteller? Want to publish your story on WritersHideout.net? Email us – [email protected]