Great Britain, 1946

The Story Of James Winterbrock PART 1:

The boy came from a very poor family, a broken home. His parents barely had enough money to buy him a new pair of boots whenever winter came around the corner. He remembers not being very close to his father. In a lot of ways, he felt let down and alone. His favorite thing in the whole World was looking through his dirty windows, right at the toy-shop that was located across the street from his house. Wealthy families with their children would come and go with hands full of toys the boy could only imagine playing with when his eyes were completely shut, ready to drift into his own World of imagination. Sadly, he was only happy when he was asleep.
One day, he couldn’t make it home in time for dinner, because of a snowstorm. As he was walking past the toy-shop, he noticed the door was slightly opened. “Well, that seems odd. It’s past working hours. I might just take a look inside,” said the boy to himself. As he pushed the white wooden double-doors wide open and turned on the lights, it was as if he couldn’t believe his eyes. All the toys he only saw in other children’s hands, all here, just for him.
He played for hours in complete intimacy as the snow had covered all the windows in the shop. Winter had a warm feeling again.
He turned to a wooden doll and said: “Gosh, I haven’t felt this happy since I was born Lucy”. As he continued to play with all the toys he had given names to, footsteps could be heard from the basement staircase. The boy didn’t hear it at first, but when he saw a man’s shadow, he just sat there, completely frozen. It was Peter, the toy-shop owner. When the boy saw him, he quickly put all the toys he had around him in his huge pockets and ran to the door. His pockets were so stuffed, the Lucy doll fell out and broke her wooden arm. The boy tried to open the door, but the snow was standing in the way. As Peter came closer, he picked Lucy up and closed the store door. The boy was frightened. His heart could burst out of his chest. “What have I done”.



Great Britain, 1946

The Story Of James Winterbrock PART 2:

“Let me get you a blanket”, said Peter. “It’s too bloody cold outside, isn’t it?” The boy just kept looking at him.
As he handed him the warm wool blanket, he sat next to the boy on the floor and started fixing Lucy’s arm. “You see, it’s much easier to fix a broken arm if it’s wooden”, said Peter to the boy in hopes that it would cheer him up, but the boy just kept looking down.
“You see, to be able to make a toy, you must be introduced to the art of balance. The arms and legs must be the same weight and length, the facial features must be symmetrical and you cannot build a toy in one night. There is no rush in art.”
The boy finally looked at him.
“When you stuffed all of these toys in your pocket, one of them was bound to fall out. There was no balance. So how about, you let Lucy stay with me tonight and I’ll return her to you tomorrow morning. How does that sound?”
The boy started crying. “I’m sorry for taking them. I’ll leave it all here, I really am sorry.”
“No need to be,” said Peter. They will be much happier with you than on this dusty wooden shelf of mine.” They both smiled at each other as Peter had walked the boy to the door.
The next day came around and the snow storm has calmed. Lucy was waiting for the boy in front of his doorstep, just as promised. She was his favorite. The boy did not only get a couple of toys, but he learned what it meant to have balance. All of the sadness he’s experienced as a child only showed him what happiness truly became when he grew up.

Today, the boy is sitting in his own toy-shop study with his daughter Lucy, telling her the story of James Winterbrock.


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Written by : Anthony Trucks