Small change for a sea change

Most of us were lucky enough as children to be given pocket money. What was pocket money for you as a child is small change now. It can help us give our children experiences and support that will create a sea change in their childhood.

Stella Hervey Birrell

My pocket money story

It was always the unicorn.
My sister and I passed
Stewarts Newsagent
on the way home from school
and asked each other, ‘which ornament?
If you could have any?’
I got 40p a week.
So, it was just a game.

Then Mum broke her arm,
pulled over
by the dog
on a patch of ice.
Everyone forgot about pocket money.
For a while.
But I was saving
without knowing it.
For weeks.

I can remember going
into Stewarts and
instead of a penny chew
or a Lion Bar,
asking for the unicorn.

The man behind the till
unlatched the door to the window display.
‘The musical one?’
It clinked a few notes of My Favourite Things
as he lifted it out.
Its angelic white body,
reclining on a grassy knoll
shaped like a cupcake,
and cultivated with painted flowers.
Looking right out of place on a huge pile of Fife Heralds.

In my hand it was
smooth, like a pebble washed by time:
comfortingly heavy.

Years later, I knew my boyfriend was special
when he fixed the screw
that had tilted the unicorn, years before.
The grassy knoll is level again,
and it still plays
My Favourite Things.

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