Word Count: 890
Summary: Felicity’s daughter helps in her father’s shop.
Was it a man’s job to teach his daughter to ride horseback? Maybe his son, but a daughter?
The new store on the corner that was adjacent to the town square was brimming with activity this market day, keeping the young shop-owner on his feet. He had no time to ponder mannerisms that his daughter should or should not be adopting. She would be coming into the store later that morning as usual, requiring something her mother had sent her to fetch, but she would plead to stay for all hours to help her father in the store – restocking shelves or keeping track of inventory in the storeroom. And with the way things were going now, he would be hard pressed to dismiss her. He really ought to get an apprentice.
A line of customers were waiting to pay for their items, and some in the back of the line were starting to grumble about the poor service they were receiving while the storeowner busied himself with the inquiries of one stubborn lady who did not know what she wanted. His mind was racing, trying to come up with some excuse to get away from the woman, and he was shouting at his customers to be patient; he would be with them in a moment. But he was also thinking back to his days as a store apprentice; he could not remember any days being as hectic as this.
On the busiest days of his training, the shopkeeper’s daughter would come in, all too eager to help when she saw the crowd. She would not wait to be asked to assist; she would just start working. And when the crowd had dispersed, her father would ask his apprentice to escort her home, and he had been more than happy to oblige.
He hoped his own daughter would arrive soon. He had finally rid himself of the pesky female shopper, but there were many more like her, demanding his attention. Pretty soon he was thinking he would need more than just his daughter to aid him – he needed an entire army.
This was not the first store he had owned, but it was the first in a bustling city of Yorktown, and many passersby were curious to see what this new store had to offer. He did have some of the finest goods for reasonable prices, and it was hinted that only the most upstanding people bought goods here.
The bell above the door rang, and the storekeeper was relieved to at last see his daughter walk in. Her round face instantly lit up when she stepped into the commotion, and her green eyes sparked as they alighted on a young woman struggling with a number of parcels. She had already paid for these goods, but there was not an inch of space on the counter to arrange them into her basket. The girl went to her at once and held the packages while the woman loaded up her basket.
Then the girl was behind the counter, up the ladder, hauling a cone of sugar down for another customer. Next, she was accepting coins and wrapping parcels. Within an hour, the shop contained only a few people; all the rest had left, contented with their purchases.
The storeowner turned to his daughter with a relieved smile. “I kept thinking about you this morning,” he remarked, “and how I hoped you’d come.”
She turned her head toward him. Her hair was too red to be brown like his, but it was not the vibrant blaze that crowned her mother’s head. Her hair was more like copper. “I am what mother calls ‘a Penny for your thoughts.'”
“Very true, you are hardly ever out of my thoughts, Penny.”
“Was I named after a horse?”
The shopkeeper met her pouting lips with a chuckle. “I suppose you would find out sooner or later.”
“Mother mentioned her old horse when she was giving Beth her riding lesson this morning,” Penny remarked.
“Your mother told me she planned to get that younger sister of yours onto a horse any time now. You know, there’s no finer horsewoman in all of Virginia than your mother.”
“So, she named me after her beloved horse?”
“You should be honored.” He turned away just then to tend to a customer. A few minutes later, he returned to the nine-year-old spitfire – she looked just like her mother when she frowned. “I think it’s time you heard the story of Penny, how your mother saved him from the cruel clutches of one Jigy Nye, how her grandfather found that horse years later and gave her back to your mother. That is one very special horse.” He tugged on his daughter’s ponytail; her frown was softening to an expression of curiosity. “And it’s because of that horse that your mother and I became friends.”
Penny leaned on the countertop. “I think I should like to hear that story.”
Author’s Note: When I saw that Felicity had returned from the American Girl Archive for a new generation to discover, I got to wondering if Felicity had a daughter, what she might be like.
I do not own anything. All rights belong to American Girl and Valerie Tripp