Winter had arrived and George sat near his fathers at his feet near the warmth of the fireplace. Like his sisters they sat eagerly listening to his stories. The father told tales about a toy maker that made toys for all the children in the village, and the fairy’s that delivered them. He also told them the tales of the two brothers who were constantly feuding with one another. One brother lived in the west and the other brother in the east causing constant storms that blew across the lands. George enjoyed the stories no matter how many times his father told them, sometimes his father would twist the plot and change the ending, making them better than the last.
“It’s time for bed,” his father would end the night. “It’s getting late and we need to get up early.”
“Father, tell us about the toy maker again?” one of the young sister’s gleefully asked.
“Why did he stop delivering toys?” asked the other sister.
“Well, nobody can say,” father said. “He use to come every day before the day of the new moon. Then suddenly he ceased coming. Nobody can say why.”
“Who was he?” George asked.
“What did he look like?” asked the youngest
“Nobody can say who he was or what he looked like,” said the father. “Some say he came from the mountains. Others believed he was a transient passing through town. Whatever the reason no toys have been delivered for many winters. I was just a boy myself when we last heard of him. He came when the storms arrived and just like that he would disappeared with the storm. There hasn’t been a storm in years. Many think he created the blizzards as a disguise.”
“Do you think he will ever return?”
“He might,” the father winked. “Wouldn’t you like to find out?”
“Yes,” shouted the girls.
“Then off to bed you all go,” said the father.
George didn’t want to go to sleep, but he was too tired to argue. He kissed his mother and father goodnight, climbed up to the poky loft where he slept and hurried under the covers. He didn’t have to share his bed with his sisters. They slept in a separate bed down below. Their home wasn’t as large as the landowners, but it was cozy enough. George could still hear his father rocking on his chair while he talked to the mother.
“I wish you didn’t stir their imaginations like that,” Mother admonished.
“I see no harm in it,” replied father.
“You shouldn’t lead them to believe in something that doesn’t exist. Especially about the toy maker.”
“My stories aren’t entirely untrue,” Father puffed on his pipe. “There was once a toy make that use to leave toys to us poor children.”
“Is that so?”
“He would come around this time. A storm would appear and the toys appeared. The it suddenly stopped as it had begun. I always wondered if I had been a bad boy. If perhaps that was the reason he stopped coming.”
“We never heard of a toy maker,” said the mother. “It was always some monster coming to get us if we weren’t good. Such silly nonsense.”
“If say you so, mother,” the father puffed quietly.