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Sharp Traders

Beatrix Potter


4.  Beatrix Potter, author/illustrator.
Ginger & Pickles.
London, New York: Frederick Warne & Co., 1909.

This surprisingly funny story about the difficulties of being a small merchant can be thought of as a clear-headed corrective to Lucas and Bedford's Book of Shops. The mice, rats, and rabbits who patronize Ginger and Pickles have good reason to fear for their lives, as the store's proprietors, a fox terrier and a cat, are their natural enemies.

But because the shopkeepers offer unlimited credit and rarely settle accounts, the little animals decide it is well worth the risk. Here Mrs. Tiggywinkle, the local washer woman, is buying soap without paying because she knows the dog won't demand cash, even though she owes quite a bit of money.

If Ginger and Pickles cannot manage their customers better, they will run their business into the ground. So do they eat their stock—or their customers? Find out what happens at the Project Gutenberg website.(Image Credits)