Welcome to the town of Red Flounder.
In the middle of the town of Redflounder there is a flower shop. Not a normal flower shop, but one whose owner used to be rude, and painfully obnoxious at times. The only reason the shop flourished was because there was no other flower shop – it was necessary, otherwise no customer in their right mind would patronize such a place.
On this particular day, Mr. Lopopi Throomgreen was walking through town with his granddaughter, Dilly – they were having a wonderful time window shopping and checking out all the amazing stores and shops. The two of them rounded a corner onto the main street…crossed two streets at the crosswalks, then ended up face-to-face with Mr. Pilteye Niknickcleeriori – the owner of the flower shop, who was outside his store sweeping the sidewalk.
Now, Lopopi knew better than to make eye contact with such a monstrously unrefined person; however, poor Dilly did not, and her eyes fixed directly onto his returning, scornful gaze.
Dilly was a polite and innocent young lady, and she simply smiled and said, “Good day to you Mr. Shop Owner.” Before Lopopi could intervene, Pilteye glared at Dilly and rudely stated, “My proper name is Mr. Pilteye Niknickcleeriori, not Mr. Shop Owner. A young lady like you should show me respect and call me Mr. Niknickcleeriori. That is the polite, and expected thing to do.”
Dilly was not insulted by his response, she simply corrected herself politely. “I apologize. Good day to you Mr. Niknickcleeriori.”
Pilteye simply nodded his head and walked into his store and out of their sight.
Lopopi thought hard for a moment, as he wanted to offer some advice to his granddaughter; however, he realized that she responded very well considering the situation. The two were just about to continue their frolicking, when they heard a crash of thunder very close. Quickly they both looked toward the sky – sure enough a storm was closing in on them. Lopopi reached for Dilly’s hand and turned to lead her to a safe place where they could take cover until the storm passed.
The rain poured down quickly and fast and their only choice was to seek refuge in the flower shop.
As they entered the shop, Mr. Niknickcleeriori belted out a rude comment to them. “This is my shop. I sell flowers here. It is not a storm shelter. If you are not here to buy flowers, then you must find another place to be.”
Lopopi was about to respond harshly, but Dilly got her words out first. “My papa and I will be glad to look at what you have for sale in your shop, sir. If we find something we like, then we will make a purchase.”
Mr. Niknickcleeriori gave her a hard look as if he was going to make another rude remark; but, instead, he simple scoffed to himself and looked away as if he had other important matters to attend. Dilly and Lopopi spent quite some time looking around the shop. They kept walking around and around hoping the storm would end soon. Eventually, Mr. Niknickcleeriori became wise of their meandering. He stormed out from behind the cash register, from where he’d been standing, and headed toward them. As he rounded the first aisle, he noticed something very strange – at the opposite end of the aisle, he saw an orange goat. He thought he was imagining things, but soon realized the goat was actually there and was staring back at him with a smirk on its face.
He and the goat started silently at each other for a long moment. Mr. Niknickcleeriori broke the silence with an accusative remark to Lopopi and Dilly. “You two are not shopping, you are simply wandering in circles waiting out the storm. You need to leave at once…and, you need to take your goat with you. There are no animals allowed in my shop.”
Neither Dilly nor Lopopi had seen the goat, and they knew for sure they did not even own a goat. “We are still shopping. We are customers and should be treated kindly. Also, I do not own a goat, nor did I bring a goat or any other animal into your shop, sir”, Lopopi said harshly, but with obvious intent to restrain himself from being rude.
Mr. Niknickcleeriori yelled back, “I am looking at a goat right now – an orange goat. That animal is not mine, and it was not here before you two entered my store.” Having said that, he marched directly toward the orange goat with the intent to chase it from his shop. The goat giggled, then quickly darted off out of the shop owner’s sight. As he arrived at the goat’s previous location, he noticed some of his flowers were chewed into pieces; and, there was a fresh loaf of goat poop steaming on the floor in the middle of the aisle – he was beside himself with frustration.
The shop owner turned red with fury just before belting out another command to the two uncustomers. “Your goat has made a mess of my shop. He is eating my flowers and pooping in the aisles. You must retrieve your animal and leave at once.”
“I am sorry for your lost flowers. They are all so beautiful; however, the animal you speak of is not ours”, retorted Lopopi. He and Dilly rounded the corner just in time to see Mr. Niknickcleeriori scooping up the squishy, steaming mess the goat left on the floor.
“Mr. Shop Owner, sir. I do not see any animal, and as my papa explained, we do not own, nor do we know about any animals in your shop”, Dilly explained.
As they approached the shop owner, he scowled at them briefly before disappearing with the goat loaf. He dumped the load into a plastic garbage bag, then returned behind the cash register. As he peered from behind the counter, he once again made eye contact with the orange goat. The animal was chowing down on some rather nice-looking Lilies near the exit door – just staring back at Mr. Niknickcleeriori.
“Stop eating my flowers you beast!” Mr. Niknickcleeriori yelled from his position. “Your pet is near the exit, which is the way you two need to go, and you need to go there right now”, he yelled. He got no reply this time, so he made another attempt to chase off the goat. As he approached the animal, just like the first time, the goat giggled, and dashed out of sight quickly; and, once again, he left a steaming poop loaf behind.
The shop owner was more furious than before. He quickly went and retrieved the necessary supplies to clean up the loaf. “I want you both and your goat to get out now!” He made quick work cleaning the poop, but he was a bit surprised that he did not get a response from neither Dilly, nor Lopopi.
The shop owner was enraged at this point – having cleaned up poop on two occasions, and now apparently being ignored by the two intruders. He raced from behind his register and weaved quickly from aisle to aisle. Nothing. He glanced outside and the storm had passed, so he thought the two must have left his store. As he returned to his register, he found the goat behind the counter, and within arm’s reach. He instinctively attempted to slap the goat, but his reflexes were too slow. He missed his mark and lost his balance, tumbling face first into the floor. He was spared serious injury however, as his fall was cushioned by another loaf of goat poop.
He returned to his feet quickly trying to pursue the goat; however, he lost his balance again and fell hard on his bottom. Once more, his fall was cushioned by the remnants of the poop loaf.
As he regained his footing, finally on the third attempt, he glanced toward to front door – just catching a glimpse of Lopopi and Dilly exiting his shop.
From that day forward, the shop keeper never saw the goat, nor the little girl and her grandpa again. He was also more cordial to his customers.
The legend of the orange goat lives on to this day. Shop keepers and shop owners around Redflounder are always wary about their mannerisms, and remain courteous and friendly, even to customers that do not make purchases.