What role does the store play in the lives of the narrator and her family?
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Angelou tells of the little sensory details that make her life working and living in the store an adventure for a young girl. She recalls the smells, and unfamiliarity of the place, and the constant stream of people who made the place seem exciting and almost magical. However, the theme of romance vs. reality soon becomes plain; for even as the cotton pickers come in each morning, happy and boastful, each afternoon they come back bitter and wondering how to make enough money to make ends meet. Angelou notes the difference between the wonderful mornings and the hard reality of the afternoons, knowing that however things might seem, there are always the harsh facts of life to face.
Angelou continues to tell of the store, and her work there; it is her favorite place during her childhood, and filled with great magic as she grows up. During the day she works in the store, measuring out dry goods for customers; in the evening, she helps to feed the hogs and chickens they keep.