Munro decoded

Flo kept the candy up behind the counter, on a slanted shelf, in open boxes, out of reach but not out of sight of children. Rose had to watch her chance, then climb up on the stool and fill a bag whatever she could grab—gum drops, jelly beans, licorice allsorts, maple buds, chicken bones.

—Alice Munro, “Privilege,” The Beggar Maid

Chicken bones? This old-timey confection turns out to be a hard candy tube, usually butterscotch or molasses, filled with peanut butter and rolled in cocoanut. The actual candy doesn’t sound any more palatable than its metaphorical tenor.

There is another version, cinnamon stuffed with bittersweet chocolate, from Ganong of New Brunswick, that sounds much tastier.

She went into the dining to check the money she had saved from Family Allowance checks. It was in the bottom of the silver muffin dish. Thirteen dollars. She meant to add that to what Patrick gave her to get to Victoria.

—”Mischief,” The Beggar Maid

Canada’s Family Allowance program went into effect in 1945 as its first non-means-tested income redistribution plan. At the time the story takes place (about 1960?), Rose would have received about six dollars a month for her daughter Anna. Reforms of the program in the 1970s began to wear away at its universal subsidy provisions; the program was completely replaced with the Child Tax Benefit program in 1992.