A special adventure

– Of course we can do! – James said, excited at the idea of going shopping with his sister: alone for the first time.
It seemed like an adventure.
– Then I’ll wait for you at the checkout. – Dad said as he tried to call the office to resolve a problem.
– But where’s the list? – Sophie asked, taking her brother by the hand.
– I’ve got it, don’t worry. – James answered – And now… inside!
Actually, no, wait, the trolley.
The sliding doors opened and Sophie and James found themselves catapulted into a whole new experience: this time, it was up to them to decide, choose, search and find.
They started at the milk fridge.
– Which one do we take? – James asked, confused by the colours of the labels.
– The green one! – Sophie answered promptly.
– But we have to check the expiry date. Mum always makes
me do it. What day is it today?
– Well, the 22nd, or the 23rd, maybe the 21st… I don’t know… – his brother admitted, shrugging his shoulders.
It’s the 24th. – Someone whispered behind them.
The children turned around: that someone was very big, with very long black hair and an enormous snake tattoo on his arm. The snake looked real, so real that Sophie said to him.
– Hey! You can’t bring animals into the supermarket. The man laughed and walked away, but James was a little worried.
– Sophie, you don’t talk to strangers! Come on, let’s get the milk and go. So, if today is the 24th…let’s get the one on the end there that expires on the 27th so we can finish it on time.
– And now the eggs. I’ll get them. – Sophie offered.
– OK, I’ll get the ticket for the ham. There’s always a queue. – James added, using the same tone as dad.
James returned in a flash to find the cart full of 6 maxi-packs of eggs and 6 packs of unicorn handkerchiefs.
– Where did these come from?
– I got them! – On the label it says 3x2, which makes 6, so I got 6 packs of eggs and 6 packs of tissues.
Look: I’ve got my favourite unicorns.

– Sophie, 3x2 means you get 3 packs and only pay for 2! OK, for the tissues because they don’t expire, but we can’t take all these eggs – ,we’ll end up throwing them away.
– You’re right. So we’ll just get a carton of eggs and…
Sophie was interrupted by a metallic voice – At the deli we are serving number 96!
– Oh Sophie, run, it’s our turn!
– 96! It’s us! We want ham, one ham! Please – exclaimed James and Sophie, arriving in a hurry.
– Hello, darlings, are you alone today? – Mrs Anna greeted them from behind the counter: she was a friend of their
mother’s and she had known them all her life. – So, do you want one whole ham? – She asked showing a huge ham. –
One seems a bit much, don’t you think?

– Well, yes, as a matter of fact… – The children didn’t know what to think: the list said Ham 1.
– Listen, let’s do this: I’ll slice you 100 grams of ham and if you need more you can back tomorrow. OK? That way you’re sure it doesn’t go to waste.
– Yes, yes, all right! – Sophie said– Mum always gets 100 grams too!
Mrs Anna turned around to slice the ham and James got distracted thinking that the adventure was a little more tiring than expected: for the first time, he felt responsible for the purchase of the groceries and he had been very careful about labels, expiry dates, grams… he also carefully observed the arrangement of the products on the shelves and noticed the geometries hidden in the perfectly stacked packages. And then there were the comings and goings of people: each with their own thoughts…
So many shapes, colours, scents!
James roused himself, Mrs Anna was handing him the ham, neatly sealed in its pouch. James took it and thanked her.
Sophie we’re done, let’s go. Sophie? Sooophie?!?
– I’m here, I’ll get the coffee! Look, there’s the one that Mum likes
– … The one with the fairtrade logo. It means that if you buy it you help those who make it! It’s a purchase made with your heart. – James added, taking his sister by the hand. – But you mustn’t go away like this! Let’s go to the checkout.
We’re done here.
– That’s not true, there are no cookies! – Sophie observed. – I want these with jam.
– But I like these with chocolate… – James retorted.
– How about these instead? – their father asked, who had joined them and was holding a nice shiny box of assorted cookies: – Let’s see, there are the jam and chocolate ones and also the cream and coffee ones that Mum and I like.
And I got ice cream, too. You guys really earned it.
– You’re a genius, Dad! – Sophie exclaimed, hugging him.
At the mention of ice cream, Sophie and James looked at each other: they couldn’t wait to get home and tell Mr Fridge about their experience.
Who knows what he had been doing all day at home alone…
With all those compartments, internet connection and his super intelligence!
At one point, they thought about ice cream.
What if Mr Fridge not only had a big heart, but also a sweet tooth for ice cream?