LittleFolkz Shortz (Storyz for Kidz)

To Kianna – My inspiration for Pretty Polly

Chapter One - Polly & the Penny Pickles

My name is Polly.  Mrs. Kovarski, from Mrs. Kovarski’s famous deli, was the first person to ever call me Pretty Polly. “Oy vey, she’s such a Pretty Polly!”.   And that was the beginning of Pretty Polly and the Penny Pickles.

When I was very little I never liked store bought pickles (yuck). To me, my thumb was the most perfect pickle in the whole wide world and I had absolutely no need for a replacement.  Momma would take me to Mrs. Kovarski’s deli store at least once a week.  She would buy the weekly specials, pastrami, bagels, cinnamon buns, lox and of course pickles for my father.  Mrs. Kovarski would often tell Momma, “Pretty Polly should give up her thumb and try my pickles”, but Momma would always say, “Pickles would be too acidy for my Polly’s tummy”.  I was more than happy I didn’t have to replace my thumb with a pickle.

Mrs. Kovarski often tried to bribe me with treats. One day she would give me a chocolate, another day she would offer me hard candies. These were all very good but no sooner had I finished my treat than in would go my thumb. Mrs. Kovarski was very worried (I think she thought I might actually swallow my thumb) but Momma always said “Polly prefers her thumb, she’ll outgrow it one of these days”.   Mrs. Kovarski continued to call me Pretty Polly which made me very happy.

When I turned 6 years old Momma organized a big party and we went shopping at Mrs. Kovarski’s deli.  Of course she bought the specials of the week as well as pickles for my father.  Mrs. Kovarski made a big deal out of the fact that there was a special sale this week of her home made, magic ingredient pickles.  She told Momma, “if you let Pretty Polly try one of my special pickles, I will sell you my pickles for 1 penny each”. With one eye on the acidic pickles and one eye on the Penny price, Momma reluctantly said, “Okay but only this 1 time”.  As Mrs. Kovarski searched around in the big glass jar for just the perfect pickle I held tight to Momma’s leg.  I honestly thought they were going to cut off my thumb and replace it with a pickle.  When Mrs. Kovarski found just the right pickle, she wrapped it in waxed paper, came around the big huge counter, touched my face ever so lightly and presented that pickle to me as though it had fallen right down from heaven.  I was amazed because not only did I now have a pickle but I also still had my thumb.  I stuck out my tongue and very carefully moved the pickle closer and closer and closer…. Everyone’s eyes were on me and that awful pickle.  I let my tongue touch that bumpitty old pickle and closed my eyes in case something horrible happened. I let out a little gasp, Momma jumped as if to rescue me from the Dragons in my fairy tale book and Mrs. Kovarski smiled and said, “Oy vey, Pretty Polly has found the perfect Penny Pickle!”.

Chapter 2 Mr. Flatuation

Mrs. Kovarski was a genius.  I had never tasted anything like those Penny Pickles.  They were like manna from heaven, even God would be impressed. Every time Momma and I went to Mrs. Kovarski’s deli, I would insist on another Penny Pickle.  Momma would try to bribe me with chocolates or hard candies but nothing on earth could be as good as Penny Pickles. Even my thumb didn’t seem to be quite so good any more.  Within a very short time I got bored with Mr. Thumb and permanently traded up to Mrs. Kovarski’s pickles. Mrs. Kovarski continued to call me Pretty Polly and would start every visit with “Would Pretty Polly like a Penny Pickle?”.   My face would light up like the sun in the sky, I loved Mrs. Kovarski and all of her perfect Penny Pickles.

One day Momma and I went to the deli for our weekly order and the sign on my Penny Pickle jar no longer said “Penny Pickles”, instead it said “2 Cent Pickles”.  Mrs. Kovarski looked very, very unhappy. She didn’t even ask me, “Would Pretty Polly like a Penny Pickle?”.   I knew then just how sad she must be so I built up my courage and said, “Mrs. Kovarski, can Polly have a 2 Cent Pickle?”. That seemed to help a bit but somehow the shine was gone from those perfect Penny Pickles. When Momma asked why the Penny Pickles were now 2 cent pickles, Mrs. Kovarski looked very shy and said she had to raise the price because of something or someone called inflation.  All that I heard was that a Mr. Flatulation had made Mrs. Kovarski change the name to “2 Cent Pickles”.  I was very, very angry with Mr. Flatulation and I told Mrs. Kovarski and Momma, “It isn’t fair that Mr. Flatulation changed the name. Doesn’t he know that Penny Pickles are perfect just the way they are?”.  Momma and Mrs. Kovarski laughed real hard at that but I was too angry to try to understand why they were laughing.  Mr. Flatulation was lucky he wasn’t there or I would have stuck his head in the pickle jar.

Chapter 3 Perfect Nickel Pickles

Momma and I continued going to Mrs. Kovarski’s deli for many, many years.   Mrs. Kovarski continued to call me Pretty Polly and she now asked “Would Pretty Polly like a 2 cent Penny Pickle?”. This seemed to be a very good compromise because the new name satisfied Mr. Flatulation and still held the magic of those perfect Penny Pickles. was now much older and understood the difference between Mr. Flatulation, inflation and even infatuation.  Mrs. Kovarski eventually taught me how to make Penny Pickles so that one day I could make them for my own family.  I continued to love Penny Pickles, my Momma and of course Mrs. Kovarski, but I had long ago given up on Mr. Thumb.

One day Momma and I went for our weekly order at Mrs. Kovarski’s deli but the door was locked and there was a “for sale” sign on the window.  We peeked inside but we didn’t see Mrs. Kovarski anywhere.  We later learned that Mrs. Kovarski had passed away and her children had no desire for the deli.  Momma and I talked it over and we decided to buy the deli and continue to make Mrs. Kovarski’s original Penny Pickles.  Momma and I were very good and we sold lots and lots of perfect Penny Pickles. We took down the “2 Cent Pickles” sign in honour of Mrs. Kovarski. As time passed we made the business bigger and added a diner.  We now named the business “Mrs. Kovarski’s Deli and Fine Diner – our Specialty, Old Tyme Penny Pickles”.

Eventually the government decided that pennies were much too expensive and they would have to go. What could we do with Mrs. Kovarski’s Penny Pickles? We couldn’t even put back the sign “2 Cent Pickles” because there would be no more pennies or even any cents in Canada.  Then Momma had an idea.  "Why can't we call them Polly's Nickel Pickles?"  And so it was.  Today Mrs. Kovarski’s Deli and Fine Diner specializes in Nickel Pickles and children from far and wide have traded in their thumbs for Polly’s Perfect Nickel Pickles. Every day I can hear Mrs. Kovarski up in heaven, “Oy vey, Pretty Polly makes a Perfect Nickel Pickle!”  

The End.