I. THE FAMOUS LITTLE SWEETOOTH SWEETS SHOP
“Valentiny, everyone knows where the Sweetooth Sweets is.” Traladida Sweetooth said to
her daughter. “Now please sit down, dear.”
Valentiny had been giving the cab driver explicit directions all the way from the airport.
“Remember to turn left on Bizwell Boulevard... seven blocks... between Walpole and
Linnet... it will be on right had side of the street.” Valentiny finished and sat back as she was
told. The city of Shubucklopolis flew by as the cab hurried through the empty early morning
Valentiny rolled her window and leaned out the window. She was on her way home! What
a surprise it was going to be this time! Valentiny had planned it for days. Her father would be
expecting her in the afternoon but instead she was going to surprise him before the shop even
“Will I scare Daddy? Do you think?” Valentiny asked noticing the window displays at
Schirk’s Department store where manikins were dancing with painted elephants.
Valentiny Sweetooth did not look anything like herself. This morning, she was a wild,
tangled-tufted, purple-faced savage. Under the face paint, all that was familiar peering out
under the pith helmet were her sparkling violet blue eyes. She was dressed in grass stained
khaki safari suit painted with tribal designs, bulging pockets bursting with notebooks and maps.
On her long, spindly legs, she wore knee-high woolen gray socks and well-scuffed mud-covered
“Of course you won’t scare him.” Her mother knowingly replied, “Startle him? Yes. Scare
him? No, dear.”
As the cab approached the Sweetooth Sweets shop, Valentiny could see her father at work
in front of the shop: polishing the windows. She leapt up, “STOP!! Stop here. I will sneak up
on him.” The cab screeched to a halt. In a flash, she was out the door and quietly stepping
closer to the tiny candy shop.
There was something very special about early Saturday morning for her father,
Quincypersimmon Sweetooth. It was the secret time before the rest of the city woke up. Before
the crowds and busy-bustling business took over. In these early hours, on a day that most
people have free for leisure, Quincypersimmon felt the city belonged to him. When in fact, it
was only the tiny, tiniest candy shop in the world that belonged to him.
But oh, what a candy shop it was. If ever a building could be a confection this was it. Some
said it was made of sugar itself. Sugar bricks, sugar glass, sugar moldings, sugar signage, sugar
roof, sugar sales people, and the sugary sweetest family that operated it.
The Sweetooth Sweets Shop had been in Quincypersimmon’s family for over a hundred
years. It opened its sugary doors the same week that King Edgard IV (The Whisker King)
celebrated his silver jubilee.
Seeing that the windows of the shop were sparkling clean, Quincypersimmon took a closer
look at the displays inside the window. Pastel boxes of soft green, tulip pink, pale yellow and of
course, signature Sweetooth-blue (a lovely shade of lilac). The boxes were decorated with
stamped gold swirls and stripes, tied with bows of gold ribbon.
Valentiny was noiselessly inching closer and closer and closer.
Suddenly, she froze in her steps. At that instant, a silver-sleek Excelsior Galavant limousine
pulled up in front of the shop. Quite often, such astonishingly elegant automobiles could be
found along the street in front of his store. This was Bizwell Boulevard after all! (“The street
where dreams come true!” everyone liked to say.) Someone was getting out of the limousine.
Valentiny leapt back behind a flowering cherry topiary and watched.
“More pink boxes.” Quincypersimmon muttered to himself.
A most dignified gentleman in a silver striped gray morning coat, top hat, spats and
monocle climbed out of the car and approached her father. Behind the gentleman, a very
serious looking driver waited by the car, looking straight ahead.
Quincypersimmon turned in a startled whirl. It was then that he recognized who was
“Let me introduce myself.” The gentleman spoke quickly, “I am Ferdie Shubuckle. How do
you do on this fine morning?” Everyone knew who he was. He needed no introduction. He was
Sir Alferd Bizwell Shubuckle, the richest person in the city. He had great wealth but he also
had the kindest heart in town. Giving his money away was his favorite pastime, just as some
people like to raise geraniums, play checkers, have their initials embroidered onto
handkerchiefs or read fairy tales before bed. He enjoyed sharing his fortune with others. The
city map was covered with buildings and institutions that his illustrious family had built from
ground up and put his name upon: Shubuckle Financial Headquarters, the Shubuckle
Symphony Hall, the Shubuckle Athenaeum, the Shubuckle Library, Shubuckle Public Park,
the Shubuckle Wunderland Amusement Park, and not to mention that the city itself had the
name: Shubucklopolis. He needed no introduction!
“Yes. Sir Shubuckle, what can I do for you, sir?” Quincypersimmon said as they shook
“Ferdie. Please, I am Ferdie to my friends.” Said the most famous man in town “And I
would be honored if you would consider me your friend.”
“Very well, Sir Shubuckle.” Quincypersimmon replied, “What can I do for you?”
“Well, you see, I have come for two reasons. One is business and the other is to prove to
someone that I can keep a promise. My promise is to my niece!” As Sir Ferdie explained, he
turned to point out someone in the back seat of this limousine. Quincypersimmon caught a
very quick glimpse of two shining eyes of a child, before the dark window rolled up. “And the
business is with you, Quincypersimmon.”
Sir Ferdie laughed. “Your greatest customer is inside that car. She has asked me to deliver a
message. She has absolutely no doubt that your Sweetooth Sweets are the finest sweets in the
He laughed again, “I promised her that I would come by this morning and offer to buy the
Sweetooth Sweets Shop from you... for her.”
Quincypersimmon dropped the bucket and the polishing cloth, in disbelief. “B-b-b-buy my
shop?” He stammered.
“Quincypersimmon, I understand that the shop is not actually for sale. But in this envelope
is an offer. I have done some research at how much candy stores are worth and then added a
generous number of zeros on the end to make this transaction worth your consideration. Please
take a look at it sometime and share it with your accounting and legal advisors. They will agree
that it is an exceptional offer which I, and my niece, hope that you will accept!”
In a very polite manner and with a very firm handshake, Ferdie Shubuckle said “If it is
worth anything, I happen to be your second greatest customer! Good day, friend!” He returned
to his limousine. His driver opened the door.
Valentiny leaned forward around the topiary to get a better look at the niece who wanted
to own her father’s candy shop. She saw the slender little legs and silver slippers tied with
Sweetooth-blue ribbon shoelaces.
The door shut. The car drove away with a soft murmur and whoosh.