Table of Contents
- The father: The father of Gip who took him to a gift shop.
- Gip: A somber boy with a beautiful heart—a heart of gold.
- The shopkeeper: A strange-looking man with one ear bigger than the other and a weird-looking boot.
The story is about a father and his son, Gip, who happen to go to a magic shop. Through the window of the shop, they see lots of “alluring little objects” such as “magic balls, magic hens, wonderful cones, [and] ventriloquist dolls.” Gip indicates to his father that he would like one of the objects in the window, that object is a magic bottle.
The father-son duo comes across a magic shop
A father and a son one day while walking down the road, came across the Magic Shop. The father had seen the shop several times, but for certain reasons unknown, he never visited it. This time, his son, Gip pulled his father by his finger and insisted on going in.
Little did they know what adventurous journey awaited them. They saw a lot of beautiful craft-works like the magic balls, the magic hens, a papier-mache tiger, and so on. Gip was delighted upon being in the magic shop and explained to his father how he has read all about the Magic Cone which makes anything under it disappear.
The shopkeeper arrives from nowhere
Suddenly, from behind the counter, appeared a strange-looking man, a man with one ear bigger than the other and a weird-looking boot. The father-son duo was astonished on seeing the shopkeeper, who then went on to show Gip a lot of magic tricks. The shopkeeper commented that Gip was the right sort of person to enter the shop, at the same moment when another young boy outside the door wanted to enter, but the door was locked.
The shopkeeper also gifted Gip with a lot of items, including numerous toy soldiers in a box, which had Gip’s full name and address written upon it. The father was puzzled by this.
The father was suspicious
The shopkeeper and Gip complemented each other and enjoyed each other’s company. Gip stood up on a stool and the shopkeeper was beside him, with a big drum in his hand. Gip screamed to his father, ‘Hide and seek, dadda!’ and the shopkeeper put a drum over Gip’s head. The father was furious at his and ordered the shopkeeper to remove the drum at once. When the shopkeeper removed the drum, Gip was missing. He was nowhere to be seen.
The father had enough and tried to grip the shopkeeper with his hand, but he escaped. Chasing him led the father into a place of utter darkness! Suddenly, the father found himself bumping into a decent-looking man, and with him, was young Gip with four parcels in his arm. The father was astonished and looked around, but then, there was NO magic shop anywhere to be found!
In the story titled ‘The Shop that never was’, we notice that while the Magician was taking out streams of colored paper from the father’s hat, he gave a bit of a philosophical talk to whoever cared to listen. He indicated the burdens and baggage of unresolved issues that people carry with them. He wonders about what man perceives himself to be while he blows the paper and makes it bloat in size.
With our baggage and tendency to carry the negative side of our past with us, are we fit for anything but the grave? He wonders whether people are nothing at the end of the day but walking tombstones. This is highly indicative of the fact that people were not living life; they were existing. Whereas people like the Magician himself and the child Gip saw wonder in everything they did and so lived life to the fullest, and created magic wherever they went.