Katy’s father’s hand kept waving goodbye, until his car turned the corner and she could not see it anymore. Katy Bay lived in a small village in England with her father, Mr. Richard Bay. Katy’s mother died when she was very young, and so her father had to raise Katy all by himself. Katy would miss her father very much, but he would be back the next morning. Katy, at the age of eight, dearly loved her father and had refused to be kept away from him at first. But Katy had stopped crying and agreed that he should go to his business meeting out of town, when he told her that her elderly Aunt Martha would watch her while he was gone. Aunt Martha was a loving woman at the age of sixty-eight who loved to sit and knit in front of the fire.
Now, Katy’s father had a shoe store, and he had promised to be back before the store opened the next morning. But his train got delayed on his way home, so he could not possibly get there before his store was supposed to open. Katy knew that the store should open at exactly eleven a.m. And when it was ten-thirty Katy said to herself, “Daddy should be home by now, shouldn’t he? I wonder what I should do.” And all of a sudden, like a balloon popping in midair, it came to her. And as quickly as she could go she ran to Aunt Martha, who was knitting in front of the fire, and said, “Aunt Martha, may I please open the store?”
Of course, Aunt Martha thought that Katy wanted to play store and open her own pretend store. So she said, “Of course you may, dear, but don’t make a mess of things!” as Katy ran to the store, which was next door to her house.
When Katy got to the entrance, she took the extra key that was hidden under the doormat, unlocked the door, and turned on the lights. After about five minutes, Mrs. Splenda Frouchy, a usual customer who bought new shoes quite often, walked into the store looking grouchy (as usual). She noticed that Katy was the only person in the store. But after thinking about it and noticing that she had to be home to cook dinner soon, she continued to shop and soon found a pair of shoes that were perfect for the not-too-hot and sunny June day. When she was ready, she expected to see Mr. Bay, ready and waiting to help her at the counter. But instead, she found the same child who had been standing there when she had come into the store. So, noticing that she had to hurry and hoping that the girl would summon her father to help ring her up, she put her things onto the counter. Unexpectedly, Katy got up on top of the high stool that stood near the cash register and started ringing up Mrs. Frouchy. After checking twice to make sure she didn’t make any mistakes, Katy took the money from Mrs. Frouchy and pulled out the cash drawer and put the money in.
While all this was happening, Katy’s father was hurrying home, because he thought he would have to open the store right when he got there. But as he was nearing the store he saw Mrs. Frouchy walk out with a puzzled face, and as he was passing her she said to him, “Mr. Bay, you’ve got a smart little girl there! Imagine, a girl not even nine years old running a store! Who would’ve thought?”
After hearing this, Mr. Bay hurried into the store and stopped at the sight of Katy sitting on the high stool behind the counter, smiling a smile as wide as the ocean. And of course, at the sight of her beloved father Katy cried, “Daddy, you’ve come at last!” Katy ran to her father and embraced him in the biggest bear hug that a little girl can give. After asking and finding out how Katy had “run the store” all by herself, the two closed the store early and walked to the house together. And after that, Katy helped her father almost every day in his store. And it became of that little accident that Katy became her father’s new and best employee at Mr. Richard Bay’s Shoe Store.