An 11-year old girl selling mistletoe in Portland (the one in Oregon, not the one in Dorset) may have succeeded in changing the rules at the city’s Saturday Market. Last weekend, after she set up a stall selling mistletoe for $4 a bunch (to raise money for her dental braces) she was told she had to stop, as she hadn’t paid for a stall licence.
Madison Root and her family thought her small operation would be fine, as there are many unlicensed buskers and beggars (‘panhandlers’ in local parlance) active in the market area. But she was told that asking a price, rather than relying on goodwill wasn’t allowed – she could raise money by begging but not from sales!
The resulting publicity led to huge interest in her story, many hundreds of orders, and provision of an alternative sales pitch by a Radio Station. And she’s already raised most of what she needs before evening trying the market pitch again. This video explains in more detail.
Meanwhile the municipal authorities have had to go on the defensive, and are suggesting they might alter the rules to be more flexible in future.
Madison is quoting as saying “It’s not about mistletoe. It’s not about me being kicked out. It’s about all of us, It’s about society accepting begging more than hard work and to set a goal for ourselves.”
But I reckon it’s all about the mistletoe really – which is, after all, a plant species* that symbolises peace, friendship and healing – and isn’t that what she’s achieving?
If you’re in North America you can buy Madison’s mistletoe direct from her website http://madisonsmistletoe.com/ I think she might raise rather more than she expected to…
(*although, of course, Madison’s mistletoe isn’t the original mistletoe species of peace, friendship and healing, as her’s is a North American mistletoe species – but I think we can let that point pass…)
But if you’re in the UK you can get the original mistletoe of legend from The English Mistletoe Shop – as well as Grow-Kits, Grow-Kit Gift Cards, Books etc.
Or go direct to Amazon to buy A little Book About Mistletoe – in paperback or Kindle formats