It was the last day of the Big Sale at the Five and Dime store. Pretty baubles...bracelets, earrings, rhinestone rings, captivated Minnie Mae. How she longed for something to brighten the long days, the even longer nights. Money was tight. She had robbed Peter to pay Paul; yet, sometimes, lint was all that lined her pockets. She had worn this chambray blue dress so often that bare spots were forming near the waist and at the hem.
But it was the last day of the Big Sale and she had to have one thing. No matter how small it was. She thought of Betty Lou and Grace Ann. Chubby cheeks glowing pink; mouths agape in toothy grins. Maybe, she could manage to buy a couple of yards of ribbon. Bright pink for their golden curls.
Minnie Mae strode determined towards the counter.
"I'd like a couple of yards of that there pink ribbon," she said with a confidence she didn't feel, "How much, Mister?"
The stout man behind the counter turned around and looked her up and down.
"Not sure you got enough for this ribbon, " he said.
At that moment, her heart fell down to her shoes. Shattering into hard little pieces.
"How much, Mister?" she ventured, again.
Just then, Grace Ann and Betty Lou toddled up and clung to her dress.
"Oh, look Mama, pretty pink ribbon," Betty Lou cooed. Grace Ann just grinned and nodded her head in agreement.
The man behind the counter strode toward the bolt of pink ribbon. Scissors in hand. He carefully measured out two yards of pink ribbon; and then another yard from a bolt of sky-blue.
"Here," he said, " You two pretty little girls deserve some pink ribbons for your hair. And, this blue ribbon, is for Mama. To go with her pretty blue dress."
He pressed the ribbons into Minnie Mae's hands. Minnie Mae shook her head and handed back the blue ribbon to the man.
"Won't have enough for this blue ribbon, Mister."
The man just smiled and winked at her pressing the blue ribbon back into her hands.
"Well now, this is your lucky day. This just happens to be the last day of the Big Sale; and you, lovely ladies, are the winners of the Big Sale Award."
Minnie Mae brightened up, lifted her chin up; and reached out her hand to take the man's big hand in hers. She pumped his hand up and down with gusto.
"Thanks, Mister," she said, " I gladly accept the Big Sale Award on behalf of Betty Lou and Grace Ann."