When I was a boy of ten or eleven I used to make some spending money by delivering newspapers. My route consisted of fifty-two customers. The paper was an evening paper except for Sundays. My papers were dropped off at Bunny's Corner where I picked them up, loaded them in my paper bag and made my deliveries.
Bunny's Corner was a small soda shop on a corner one block down the street from the high school and the grade school where I was taught my ABC's. Now those days seem like they were hundreds of years ago but I am not that old so maybe it would be more truthful to say sixty or seventy years ago.
However, I guarantee you that to those of us that can look back and remember those days to talk about, they are truly days of yore. Our aching bones can attest to that.
On cold rainy or snowy days Bunny would let me fold my papers inside her shop and somehow always managed to give me a cup of hot cocoa with those tiny little white marshmallows on top. At first I tried to explain that I didn't have any money to pay for the cocoa but she would have none of that.
She was a short lady with her gray hair done up in a bun and she wore rimless glasses. When she needed to see farther than the counter, she would pull her glassed down to the tip of her nose and look over the top of them.
Well she looked over the top of her glasses at me and said, "Young man, you need to respect your elders. If say you need a cup of cocoa and I'm paying for it all you need to say is, 'thank you, ma'am'."
So, I would always smile and tell her thank you and, of course refer, to her as ma'am. Well on one rainy day my older brother was helping me and we both received that nice hot cup of cocoa and we were both polite.
However, when we got back home he told our mom how Bunny had given us that hot cocoa. My mom said how everyone knew how nice Bunny was and how they all thought the world of her. Well one thing led to another and my mom soon realized that I had been getting free hot cocoa for quite sometime.
The next day she took me on the paper route and when we stopped at Bunny's to pick up the papers my mom said we needed to talk to Bunny. My mom wasn't a person to make a scene or cause anyone any trouble so when we sat down at the counter she told Bunny that is wasn't fair for me to get free cocoa.
Bunny protested that it was okay because she had given it to me and I had not asked for it. That didn't matter to my mom because she didn't want any children of hers thinking it was right to accept without giving and she tried to give Bunny some money that I had earned from the route.
Well, Bunny was just as stubborn as my mom and wouldn't accept the money but she said that maybe I could do some chores to earn the cocoa. It was agreed by both women and naturally I had no choice.
So from that day on I would get to Bunny's early and take out garbage or sweep the floor and when I was done there would be a hot cup of cocoa with little marshmallows waiting for me.
written for Two Shoes Tuesday
Posted by George S Batty