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Pale sunlight filtered through the little girl’s bedroomwindow at the

break of dawn, gently rousing her fromher sleep. Blearily she opened

her eyes, watching as the fuzzy outlines of the Winnie the Pooh

stickers on her wall came into focus. Blinking the last shrouds of

sleep from her dream-filled mind, she regained her bearings.







” she screeched with delight. Bouncing off her

bed, she ran next door into her parents’ room, shaking her mum

and dad awake.

“Mummy! Daddy, it’s Saturday! We have to go to the market!”

“Mmhm, why don’t you go and get changed, I’ll be up in a

second…” came her mother’s mumbled reply. Satisfied that her

parents would take her to the market soon, she gleefully returned to

her own room and began rummaging through her closet for

something nice to wear.

Ten minutes later, nose pressed against the cool glass of the car

window, the girl gazed at the hot air balloons drifting lazily through

periwinkle sky like the colourful bubbles of a lava lamp. The

cityscape whizzed by, skyscrapers and tall trees jutting proudly into

the sky –palace guards lining the streets as she approached her

domain. At last, the family’s large white Prado pulled into the

carpark of her beloved Queen Victoria Market.

Since as long as she could remember, the little girl had been

coming to the market every Saturday morning, accompanying her

mother on her weekly grocery shopping. Sometimes it would just

be the two of them; the little girl loved helping her mum pick the

ripest strawberries and the sweetest nectarines. She pranced around

the place as if she were the princess, exploring her wonderful


Today however, they were accompanied by her father. These

were the best trips of all, because while her mum went grocery

shopping, her dad would take her on a hunt to find the most bizarre

store she could. ‘Daddy days’ were also the best because they would

inevitably result in him buying her a jam doughnut – the specialty

of Queen Vic Market.

The little girl bounded out of her car seat, dragging her father

along with her towards the stalls. The open market air was a

cacophony of sounds; storekeepers hawking their goods, customers

bargaining heatedly, clashing of scales and the occasional indignant

squawk of a chicken. The young girl dutifully trailed after her dad,

Queen Of

The Market

Jacqueline Du