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The Care and Cure Toy Shop
By Jenny Booker
“Mummy!!” she heard him shouting and saw her little man in tears running into the kitchen to receive a warm gentle hug.
He refused to let go for a while but soon pulled away blinking back the tears.
“What is it sweetheart?” she asked worriedly.
“My teddy,” he whimpered.
“Yes?” she said with a smile, relieved he had not injured himself, and wiped away the tears.
“He has a rip on his bot bot,” he stuttered.
“Oh no, not a rip on his bottom?” She sighed.
“Yes, Mr. Geoffrey had an accident and now he is broken,” he cried.
“Well, let’s have a look,” she said, taking his hand and letting him lead her to the scene of the crime.
Yes, Mr. Geoffrey had a big tear and her sewing skills weren’t great. The bear was a jack-in-a-box and was very old. It belonged to her grandma, and he was passed on for generations. But he didn’t work as the springs were so old, but he loved it as it was and never knew what it could do anyway.
She took a while to think, then remembered a new shop in the next town had recently opened. That was like a toy hospital — maybe they should pay them a visit. She could see if they could fix it and maybe grab some last-minute Christmas shopping over there too.
Bundling up in the car not long afterwards, she drove to the town hoping it wouldn’t be so busy as it’s the lead up to Christmas, but managed to park quickly and was soon walking up the high street.
His tiny hand grasped tightly as they finally got to the shop — and both stared for a while looking at the window display before them.
A beautiful Christmas scene was of a big carousel going around, with big snowy trees next to it that were decorated with pretty coloured balls. Glittery nutcrackers glistened as the twinkly lights surrounded the window above them.
As they walked through the door, it rang, alerting the shopkeeper who was busy polishing a doll’s shoe.
He looked up and took off his glasses smiling.
“Hello, and welcome to Care and Cure Toy Shop. Please take a look around. The toys here need a new home, and if you need any help please do let me know,” he said.
“Hello, actually we were wondering if you could fix a toy?” she hoped.
“Why of course — we do fix any toy too,” he beamed.
She took out the teddy from the bag and placed him on the desk.
“Can you see he has a hurt bot bot?” the little boy asked.
She smiled and picked him up so he could see better.
“Ah yes, I see.” He lifted it up and looked at it for a while. “Does the spring work too?” he asked.
“It hasn’t for a very long time,” she sighed.
“Leave it with me — I won’t be too long. You’re welcome to sit and have a hot chocolate or come back in five to ten minutes.”
She looked around the corner thinking the shop was small, but the L-shaped shop was in fact big! At the far end was a hot-drink vending machine with a small sofa next to it. A bookcase with small cushions next to it looked like a magical reading nook. Then many shelves with all sorts of toys filled the walls — some whizzing around with the feeling of pure delight of working and being used.
“All these toys were broken or donated to us,” a lady said appearing next to her, dressed as an elf. “Hello, I’m Maddie. I help out every time I can,” she quickly continued after seeing her shocked look.
Her son was already at the bookcase, so she and Maddie sat down and grabbed a drink.
“This place is lovely,” she said, sipping on the warm hot chocolate.
“I know, it’s amazing what he does and we hope more people will come by as nowadays people chuck broken toys and replace them,” she said sadly.
“I’ve never seen such a place,” she said as she looked around to see a bubble machine started, and her son squealed with joy popping them.
After a little while, she wandered back to see how he was getting on and heard him talking to someone — but no one was there.
He was holding a red screwdriver and was tightening up the box while apologising to it for being upside down, then suddenly the teddy nodded and stretched its arms!
No, that was impossible. Its arms were stiff, and tiredness was making her see things, she thought.
“There,” he said, putting the screwdriver down. “How does that feel?”
“I feel like new,” it said in a deep voice.
“Urm?” she managed to stutter.
“Oh hello — all done, was just about to get you. I have stitched him up and also replaced the spring for you,” he said happily, not bothered or any hint of embarrassment at what she might have seen.
Looking at him, then the teddy, she needed to sit back down.
“Are you alright mummy?” Her son tugged at her trousers, then ran to the counter jumping up and down.
“He fixed, he fixed — mummy?” he asked.
“Yes hun look,” she said as she picked him up and both saw that the teddy was repaired.
“Good as new,” he said.
“Thank you very much,” she managed to say, confused, and slowly paid the man as if in a trance and wanting to know and see more.
On finally leaving, she turned around to see him putting the screwdriver away in a big black box chuckling to himself.
Please visit Jenny on her blog: https://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/