On with the tale!
Nell knew the coins in her pocket were few. She'd found them in the gutter on the way home from school. Four dingy quarters, like treasure, sitting amongst leaves, gum wrappers, and pigeon droppings. They shone when she rubbed them against her skirt, smiled up at her from her fingers.
"How many today, love?"
Nell let the coins clatter on the counter.
The old lady smiled her toothless smile and shifted something, produced a brown paper bag.
"Fill it up," she said.
Nell blinked six times.
"Fill it up," and when Nell wasn't looking she put one of the quarters in the bottom of the bag.
That night Nell's mother smiled for the first time in weeks. Her sisters clambered for "just one more". And her father, her dear, over worked father, let the citrus juice drip over his chin.
That night they laughed. That night they were all children with full bellies and sweet dreams.