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I’ll Take That As a “No”

A girl-child climbed the three flights of stairs to my apartment on Monday afternoon. She knocked on the storm door and tried to peer through the screen into the house. I stood up from the couch and said hello, startling her. She hadn’t noticed me sitting there.

I walked to the door and asked, “What can I do for you?”

She looked up at me through the screen. Judging by her size, her cunning and her complete lack of guile, I’d say she was about 8 years old. She asked, “Would you like to buy a candy bar?”

I looked down. She had a Nature Valley granola bar in her hands. I was curious. “How much?” I asked.

She said, “Three dollars.”

I said, “Whoa! That’s a lot of money. So, why are you selling the granola bar?”

She looked at me like I was nuts. “For money!”

“Yes,” I agreed. “But is it for something at school or at church?”

She looked confused. “No,” she said.

I decided to try again. “Where did you get the candy bar?” I asked.

“The kitchen,” she answered.

“Hmmm,” I said. “And does your mom know what you’re up to?”

Her eyes grew big and her mouth dropped open. “I gotta go now!” She shouted over her shoulder while clattering down the stairs.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Goodness! You DO live in interesting territory! The only uninvited guests I get knocking on MY door are Jehova’s Witness!

  2. HA! Trust me. Go find that girl and buy the candy bar. Every time she shows up after that, buy a candy bar. When she gets a little older, she’ll come to you with a stock tip, and you should invest. That girl has got some crazy entrepreneurial spirit, and she’s gonna be richer than Bill Gates.

  3. Three dollars for a granola bar…..haha, It would be curious what she was trying to raise money to buy. I remember when I was that age, and I would get just such an ingenious idea……..I went into grandma’s garden, and picked all of her pansies, then I put them in little baskets that you used to get strawberries in, Mom used to save them all. And went around the neighborhood and sold them each for a quarter. boy did I catch HE__ for grandma though. Well she had always told me I could pick the pansies, it just helps them grow. But I guess she never meant ALL of them. haha

  4. Melli — soliciting is strictly against the association rules.

    Brig — I see her as perpetually broke and in trouble because of all of her get-rich-quick schemes.

    Nea — and she probably had other plans for those baskets!

  5. When I was eight the major source of cash was shovelling snow. Or if you were super desperate for cash, there was mowing lawns in the summer. I can see that living in a condo in Hawai’i means you have to expand a bit and try new things.

    Should have asked her if she had any canned beats or creamed corn for sale. I’m sure you could have bought out her mom’s entire pantry at bargain prices if you’d tried.

  6. But Morgan — we don’t eat canned vegetables! In fact, we don’t eat canned much of anything. If I see the kid again I’ll ask what’s in the freezer …

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