Ode to the Penny

Yesterday, the Canadian Government announced that it will no longer be producing pennies. Love them or loathe them, they will be phased out of the Canadian currency.

As a tribute, here is part of my short story “A Day in the Life: A Coin Story”, published in Flash Bites: a few short, short stories. Goodbye my grumpy old friend!

A Day in the Life: A Coin Story

Editor’s note: a loonie is a Canadian one dollar coin; a toonie is a two dollar coin

 He was on the top row again. Would this be his lucky day?

It seemed like such a long time he had been waiting. Yes, the company was mildly interesting. But he yearned for something more.

He wanted the adventures he once had.

Lights came on. A fresh scented hand reached into the jar. Oh, how he wanted to be picked. The fingers grew closer, and he was swept up! He was one of them! Clanking together with his new friends, he was lifted into the air of adventure.

Then it became squished and dark again.

There he was with two other loonies, a few toonies, and a couple of quarters. The lint made for a slight cushion between the coins. He was riding in comfort. The smell of freshly washed jeans brought thoughts of his arrival. How excited he had been to find a home again. Now all he longed for was something new.

Squished in the pocket, he couldn’t help but to wink at the quarter.  The special quarter with the red poppy. What good times they had shared, discussing their dreams and aspirations. Perhaps they were on their way to making them come true….

They jingled again as the pocket walked. Fingers reached in and felt the coins. He was snapped up! Sunshine warmed his metal face.

Ah this is the life, he thought.

Stubby, strong calloused fingers collected him out of the previous owner’s hand. A bag of fruit was given in exchange.

‘Clank’, he was dropped into a drawer full of loonies. He saw one he thought he had known a while back. Was it? He wasn’t sure.

A woman’s hardened fingers plucked him up before he could know for sure. Kept in her fisted palm, the loonie swayed with her playful fingers.

“One dollar please.” was all he heard.

He was placed into the small sweaty hand of a child.

The little hand played with him for a while, twisting him between fingers, on cheeks and a nose. The loonie was waved in the air, as if being shown off.

A larger child’s hand took him from the little hand and threw him into the air.

‘Clunk’, he landed into a plastic tupperware container, directly on top of a sticky copper penny.

“Ouch!” cried the penny. He smelled of lemonade.

The loonie was startled. Pennies were tough little characters. How could this rather soft landing hurt?

The penny looked rough. He had been around for a while. With the numbers 1963 marked by its maple leaf, the loonie – with its 2009 marking – knew this penny had seen a lot.

“Yeah.” grumbled the penny, “I’m old. I’m tired of being tossed around like this.”

The loonie was interested. He wanted to hear of the adventures this beat up coin had been through. What could the loonie look forward to? He listened to the penny and asked questions and questions and more questions of its long life.

The penny relented, if only to keep this young loonie quiet.

He told stories of being in a smelly old shoe for over a year; of being left on a sidewalk, trampled on day in and day out, until finally a dirty homeless hand picked it up; of being tossed around and treated like a token in a loud game of cards.

The loonie was ecstatic and wanted to know more.

But just then, just when the stories were getting interesting, he was plucked up by the small sweaty fingers.  With a few other coins, clanking together, they were dumped onto a glass counter. Candy was given in exchange…

To read the ending…check out Flash Bites: a few short, short stories, still only 99c: Indigo Kobo,  Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble NookSony eReader and iTunes

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3 comments

  1. There’s also some proposals flittering around the U.S. about doing this. While I like pennies (who doesn’t brighten up a little when they find a lost coin?) I’ll admit–it would save the government a lot of money.

  2. 🙂 It makes you think though – what’s going to happen to all those 99c deals!?!?

  3. actually, they are just going to round it to the nearest 5 cents now.

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