15Jun 2022

The Lemonade Stand

Posted in Short Stories

     “Hey mister, you didn’t pay for the lemonade.”
     It was Saturday, and every Saturday through the summer, Impatience – everybody
called her Imp – set up her lemonade stand under the shade of a linden tree.
Imp shouted after the man again, “Hey mister, you didn’t pay for the lemonade.”
but the man just kept on walking.
     Imp was shocked – in all her Saturdays of selling lemonade, no one had ever
refused to pay. She didn’t know what to do. She thought of running after the man,
but she had two more customers to serve.
     For some reason, it had been a very busy Saturday. It was only two o’clock and
Imp had run out of lemonade – this had never happened before. Imp closed down
her lemonade stand, and went to the mall to get more lemons.

                                                                * * *

     Imp was walking through the mall swinging her bag of lemons. She stopped at a
convenience store to get an ice cream bar to eat on the way home. Imp put down
the exact change on the counter to pay for the ice cream bar. As she turned
to leave the store, she saw a familiar looking boy about her age run to the
cooler, take an ice cream bar, put it in his pants pocket, and run out of the store.
Imp turned to the man behind the counter and said, “That boy just ran out of here
with an ice cream bar in his pocket.”
“It’s okay,” said the man behind the counter.
“It’s okay?” asked Imp incredulously.
“Yes, it’s okay little girl,” said the man behind the counter, and began serving
his next customer.
Imp walked out of the store thinking it’s okay! It’s okay to steal lemonade and
ice cream bars! Imp was very angry. Imp walked out of the mall and stopped –
she saw the boy with the ice cream bar in his pants pocket. He had his back to
her and was bent over untying a leash to a big German Shepherd. Imp drew
the bag of lemons behind her, and with all her strength swung the bag
of lemons at the boy’s pants pocket. The boy buckled under the blow. The ice
cream bar had been crushed inside the boy’s pocket.
As the boy got up, he heard Imp yelling at him. “I saw you steal that ice
cream bar! You’re a thief!”
The boy burst out laughing.
Imp asked, “What’s so funny?” but didn’t wait for an answer; she turned and
walked off towards home. As she walked away, she heard the boy yell, “Boy, you’re
 a feisty little girl.” – Imp didn’t turn around – she kept on walking.

                                                           * * *
Imp worked at the kitchen counter of her home. She was still angry, but her anger
became less intense as she set about making fresh lemonade. When she was finished,
she went back outside to her stand – and her anger became more intense than ever –
coming down the street was the man who had refused to pay for the lemonade, and
sitting on the curb across the street was the boy who had stolen the ice cream bar.
As the man approached her stand, Imp said, “Hey mister, you didn’t pay for the
“So what,” said the man.
“You’re a thief,” said Imp.
“Too bad,” said the man, and walked on.
Just then, the boy who had been sitting on the curb across the street got up. He
and his German Shepherd came across the street, and blocked the man’s path on the
“Go back and pay the girl for the lemonade,” the boy said.
“Why should I?” asked the man.
“If you don’t, I’m going to tell my dog to attack,” said the boy.
The man looked at the big German Shepherd – and went back and paid Imp for
the lemonade.
When the man had left, the boy came over to the stand and asked, “What’s your
“Imp. What’s yours?”
“Sloan,” said the boy.
“Thank you, Sloan, for making the man pay,” said Imp.
“You’re welcome.”
“But you’re still a thief,” said Imp.
Sloan smiled and said, “No, I’m not a thief.”
“I saw you steal the ice cream bar,” said Imp.
“I didn’t steal it. My father owns the store, and the clerk at the cash register
knows I’m allowed to have an ice cream bar every Saturday.”
“Oh,” said Imp.
“Oh!” said Imp again, “I’m sorry I crushed your ice cream bar. Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m okay,” said Sloan.
“I’m so sorry,” Imp said again, “I thought you stole that ice cream bar.”
"I understand. I can see why you would. Don’t worry about it. I followed you
home because I wanted you to know I’m not a thief.”
“Oh, I see,” said Imp,”Would you like some lemonade?”
“Yes, I would,” said Sloan and reached into his pocket for some money.
“No charge,” said Imp.
“Thanks,” said Sloan.
Imp and Sloan talked. Imp would serve a customer, and then they would talk
some more. Imp discovered why Sloan looked familiar to her: although they didn’t
share any classes, they did go to the same school. They talked about their school,
their favorite subjects, their teachers, their classmates, their favorite TV shows.
They were becoming friends.
“I’ve got to go,” said Sloan, “how about lunch together on Monday?”
“Sure,” said Imp.
“See you Monday,” said Sloan as he walked away.
Imp thought of a question and yelled after Sloan:
“Hey, Sloan, if that man had refused to pay me, would you have told your dog
to attack?”
“No,” said Sloan,”he’s not an attack dog. He wouldn’t know how to attack.
I was bluffing.”
“Boy,” Imp said, thinking of the words that Sloan had said to her earlier in the
day, “you’re pretty feisty yourself.”

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Jomar Payoyo I don't get it.
RS You don't get what?
Jomar Payoyo I feel like you're trying to make a point and I'm missing it.
RS My story, THE LETTER, makes a philosophical point.  This is just a sweet little story about two kids who believe in right and wrong and justice.
Jomar Payoyo Ok cool.
Pyper Marie It's a beautiful story.

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