Once upon a park in Paris, a woman sat on a bench beside a pond. She was clad in clothing that told of her wealth and on her head, a floppy sun hat as shade from the scorching sun.
As the trumpeting swans and quacking ducks joined in the melodious choir of nature, so did the woman stare. She gazed intently at the beautiful creatures going about their devices but her thoughts, clearly, afar off.
Moments later she felt the bench slightly shake along with a squeak which announced the presence of a new occupant. The person sounded a stretched sigh.
"Bonjour." came a deep voice.
The woman snapped her head towards the voice and her eyes viewed a man's kindly wrinkled face. His hair and bushy beard, albeit black, had traces of white in them. His thin lips had molded to a warm smile. He shortly lowered his head and once more greeted, "Good afternoon."
The woman only nodded with a faint smile and once again looked ahead.
"Normally I'd feed them." the old man began as four mature ducks were seen approaching the bench.
"But I took a different route today and I guess I forgot their meal." The man beamed at the ducks who were now close by.
The woman remained silent.
"Let me see if I have leftovers of yesterday's grains for you guys." He said when the chirps and quacks of the creatures had gotten louder.
The old man, dumping a book he had in hand on the bench, reached out to his shirt's side pocket. He brought out his hands and emptied it of it's content onto the grassy ground to which the hungry ducks devoured. No sooner had this been done, three to four more ducks were seen running towards the bench. The man gave a hearty laugh.
"Slow down now, now I don't have enough for all of you." He laughed some more but the woman beside him remained still.
"They're quite amusing these critters."
"It's not my fault your food isn't enough today, I spent all day getting my granddaughter this diary." He gazed at the animals while patting the book beside him. Red in color, the book possessed a few complicated patterns of gold ornaments encompassing it.
"It's pretty isn't it?" The old man questioned the woman who had been staring at the book all the while.
"How much?" her silvery voice finally questioned.
"Oh I didn't buy this one. When I got to the market today I intended on buying the best birthday present for my granddaughter. Fortunately for me I met a long time friend and through our long chat, the topic came up." He confidently confessed.
"He then handed me this one-in-a-million diary. Jeanne will love it!" He beamed and picked up the book then stood up.
"I must get going now. It was nice meeting you Miss?"
The woman replied not but the man flashed her a smile anyways and had only been four steps away when she too stood up, but in a haste.
"I'll buy that for five euros." She called out.
"It's my granddaughter's kind Miss and I did say that."
"Ten euros." Her voice, a calm one and for the first time since the man got there he was rendered speechless.
"Fifty euros." She offered again.
"Even if I sell it to you, where am I to get a diary just as nice as this one before tomorrow which I should mention again is my granddaughter's birthday."
The woman motioned her arms upwards and snapped her fingers and that's when the old man noticed a figure head their way. It seemed the person had been standing close by all this while.
Soon enough a young man had joined them. The woman then whispered something into his ear and he constantly kept nodding.
"This is my most trusted bodyguard and this," the bodyguard stretched to hand the old man a card, "is my card. I'm willing to foot all the bills required for your granddaughter's birthday if only you give me that diary."
The man meekly accepted the hard surfaced card and stared at the woman then back at the young man.
"So is it a yes?"
"O- of course. You can have the diary."
And with that, a genuine smile traced the woman's lips.