In spite of the growing fear of the Coronavirus, Shady Pines Story Town is gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day. Green is the color and joy is in the air. You don’t have to look very far to see signs, shamrocks, cards and decorations all over the small Southern town. St. Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the Irish people and all their traditions.

Neighbors in this tight knit community like to take this opportunity to celebrate the Irish. It’s also an opportunity to let children know about other cultures and show them some of the wonderful ways we celebrate them.

Scoop, the Cub Reporter with The Shady Pines Gazette is on the story. He’s not alone. His editor, Zulah Talmadge, is along to help out with the reporting. They’ve just arrived downtown. Sitting in their news car, they’re trying to figure out what angle their story should take.

“Scoop, do you know about the history of St. Patrick’s Day?” asks Zulah. Scoop thinks about that for a minute. “You know what, Ms. Talmadge? I don’t.”

“Well,” says Zulah, “St Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland. He’s supposed to have died on March 17  around the year 493.”

Scoop’s eye get really big. “That was a really long time ago.”

Zulah nods. “Yep. He grew up in Britain, but was captured by Irish raiders. They took him to Ireland when he was just a little older than you are now.”

Scoop is amazed. “So he didn’t have a choice?” Zulah shakes her head. “Nope.”

“Wow. Was he stuck there? Did he ever get home?” Scoop wonders out loud.


Zulah continues. “Years later Patrick did get back to his family. He was very religious so he dedicated himself to the church, like his father and grandfather before him. Later, he returned to Ireland as a missionary.”

“That’s interesting,” says Scoop. “He went back to Ireland. So, how did he become a saint?”

“History tells us that he gained sainthood for his missionary work,” says Zulah.

Scoop reaches for his reporter’s notebook.”I’ve got to write that down. This is so cool!”

“Maybe we can work some of these background facts into our story,” says Zulah.

Scoop is reaching for his gear. “Oh, we’ve gotta. Children need to know this stuff.”

“All right,” agrees Zulah. “But now let’s go find some fun!”


And with that, the dynamic news duo heads down Main Street to Maggie’s Diner. If there’s one person who will know what to serve on St. Patrick’s Day, it’ll be Maggie. The lunch crowd has cleared out and Maggie is wiping down tables.

“Hi ya Maggie!” says Zulah.

Scoop sets up his camera to get ready for the interview.

“Hi yourself, Zulah,” chuckles Maggie. “I guess this story was big enough for both of you?”

Scoop is smiling. “There’s a food angle, Ms. Maggie.”

Maggie nods. “Of course. I should have known.”

Zulah pretends not to believe what she’s hearing. “I don’t know what you two are talking about.”

Scoop pins the microphone onto Maggie’s blouse and readies his video camera.

“So, what do people tend to eat on St. Patrick’s Day?” asks Zulah.

“I can tell you we’ll be offering some of the favorites on that day,” says Maggie. “I’m talking about Irish soda bread, Irish stew and of course, corned beef and cabbage. We’ll use vegetables like potatoes and carrots to fill out the plate.”

“What about for desert?” asks Scoop.

“How could I forget your sweet tooth, Scoop?”

“Aw, Ms. Maggie.”

“I’m just teasing. We’ll have shamrock cookies for the kids, and the kids at heart.”

“Those are always such a favorite,” adds Zulah.

Maggie agrees. “Yea, they always go really fast. We’ll also have an assortment of pies. I might even make a mint green cheesecake, just for something different.”

Scoop’s mouth has dropped open. “Oh man, that sounds SO good.”

Zulah is really enjoying this. “Just remember, if you need people to help taste any of your recipes ahead of time, you know we’re available.”

Removing the microphone, Maggie smiles. “That goes without saying.”

Zulah and Scoop say goodbye to Maggie and thank her for her time.

“You’re very welcome. “Where are you going next?”

Zulah looks at Scoop. “I think we’ll find out what St Paddy’s Day specials are brewing over at Cup ‘O Joe’s coffee shop.”

“Then we can find out what Fred is stocking at his Corner Grocer,” adds Scoop. “Oh, and let’s make sure the parade is cancelled because of the Cornavirus. We’ll have to check with Mayor Fibbs. And, l we need to find out what changes in scheduling are happening over at the Shady Pines Community Centr. Rita Mallena will know.”

Zulah throws up her hands. “Clearly we have a lot of ground to cover. See ya later, Maggie.”

“‘Bye you guys. Have fun!”

Zooming around in their news car while tracking down their St. Patrick’s Day story, Zulah and Scoop are determined to bring us all the news that fit to print in the small Southern town of Shady Pines!