I’m on my way to Pearl’s Busy Nest. Pearl the dog is with me. I think she likes going to work every day. We have a lot of clients coming and going and they all just love her. She gets shy at first when people try to pet her, but it only lasts about a minute.
When I take her on walks after school, Pearl the human has me snoop around. She wants to know how many customers the other business people have, and try to find out if they’re real buyers or just tire kickers.
I’ve got certain places I like to go. It’s not really like I’m in cog-knee-toe, because people can see me, and I don’t have a costume on. The key is, they can see me but they don’t know why I’m hanging around. They just know I never buy anything. The only place I’ve had any trouble is the drug store. They don’t like me to tell the people they should try PearleIixer Fixer because it’s been tested by blind people who study in a clinic somewhere. You have to believe if it cures blind people, it’s worth a shot or two.
Well, we aren’t there, but we almost are.
“Hi Pearl and Grace! I’m here are you?”
This time Pearl came running to me. “We have to drive over to Pierre today,” she said. “I already called your mother. Go and use the powder room if you must, but hurry!”
“Why do we have to go today Pearl? Saturday is our busiest day. Wait…are you going to drive that clunky old Jeep? I can’t believe my mother is going to let me ride with you in that clunky old Jeep.”
“I’m almost out of the ingredients for Pearlelixer Fixer, Essie, and that won’t do.”
“Well Jeez, Pearl, you can buy all that stuff at Sanderson’s store. They won’t have flat 7-up, but I don’t think anybody will.”
“Hush child, we can’t have my clients know what’s in the Elixer Fixer. That’s why we have to go all the way to Pierre. We’ll be fodder for the gossips if they see us hauling bottle after bottle of 7-up out of Sanderson’s Store.”
“What about Grace and Pearl the dog?”
I was getting nervous about this trip, and I really hoped they would stay here.They both deserve to live. I was trying to remember if I had on clean underwear and when was the last time I told Mom I loved her, ’cause I was pretty sure we weren’t going to survive this trip. I can see my tombstone now.
Hear lies Ellie/Essie
The elixer couldn’t fix her
Grace and Pearl the dog are staying here. Pearl told me Grace said she would try her best to hold down the fort, and that she welcomed a break from all those sorry people with nothing but problems and no gratitude atall. (That’s her word.) I don’t see how we’re going to make money on the ‘Dear Grace’ part of the business. So far, we’re out a bunch of stamps and stationery. Pearl says, at the right time, the newspaper will pay us to have a column in The Murdo Coyote every week. People will be so excited to see their problems in the paper, they’ll be out there buying every one of them.
I ran and hugged Grace and patted Pearl the dog on the head. Good-byes are so hard. I’ve always hated them. I wondered if the accident was going to hurt.
I forgot to tell Grace she had on Pearl’s glasses. I hope she doesn’t go blind like those clinic studiers.
Well, we made it to Pierre and back without instadent. (Although the Jeep has about a million dents anyway no one would have noticed.)
Grace was a real wreck by the time we got back to the Nest. People had been very upset that we had run out of the Pearlelixer Fixer. She told them we were waiting for it to ferment which seemed to calm them down some.
Pearl said we all did good today and she would get to the store about five minutes early in the morning and mix up a batch of Elixer Fixer. And then she thought about something else. We only had a few of those blue bottles left. I had an idea that peeked at her interest. We would put a label made out of those “Hi My name is ____________________” stickers. They have plain ones. It will say that those bottles are inside of the public domain and cannot be filled with anything but Pearlelixer Fixer. But if they bring the empties back in like new condition, we will give them five cents for each one…at which time we will sterilize them before we fill them with Pearlelixer Fixer.
There sure are lots of things you have to think about when you run a business. I sure hope the 7-up goes flat by in the morning. We dumped it in a bunch of turkey pans.