Wendy stood at
the bakery shop window, her face pressed against the glass. She watched
the other children standing at the counter buying ice cream cones,
donuts, chocolate covered biscuits and cupcakes with raspberry jam and
cream cheese filling. Her tongue moved across her lips, wishing for one
bite of the sweet pastries.
When she could
bear no more she headed home. There she'd find her grandma and grandpa
waiting for her. Her mother would come home later in the evening,
exhausted and worn out after a hard day's work.
She opened the
front door and went inside. Grandma stood at the stove stirring a pot of
stew. A tray of scones sat on the counter. “Hello Wendy. Did you have a
nice day at school?” Grandma smiled and turned to give her granddaughter
“Yes, Grandma. I
learned all about history and math.” Wendy looked at the pot. “Are we
having stew again tonight? Does it have meat in it this time, or just
“There's a little leftover lamb, some carrots, potatoes and beans. I did
make some scones to go with it.” She saw a look of disappointment come
over Wendy's face. “Things are hard for us right now, Wendy. One day
we'll have more to eat. Don't you worry. It's a promise.”
Wendy forced a
small smile and went to hug her grandpa. He lay in a chair snoring.
Wendy didn't disturb him, but went to her bedroom and lay on the bed.
She thought of the kids at the bakery and wished that she could have a
cake all to herself.
That night she
had a dream. She went to the bakery and Mrs. Fingal told her she could
have anything she wanted. She could eat every single thing in the
bakery. Wendy laughed and ate ten cakes and three donuts. When she woke
up in the morning and realized it had only been a dream, she wept.
walked by the room and heard her daughter crying. With a sigh she left
her to sob and went to work.
Wendy went to school. On the way she saw something lying in the street.
“What's this?” She held the stone up. “It's a ruby. At least it looks
like a ruby. I wonder if Mrs. Fingal would let me trade this for a
cake?” Wendy put the stone in her pocket and waited excitedly until
school finished. She dashed to the bakery. When she opened the door and
went inside the aroma of sugar and chocolate filled the room.
looked at the girl. “Hello. Aren't you the little girl who looks in the
window every day?”
“My name's Wendy
and yes, it's me, but today I can buy a cake. I found this.” She put
the ruby on the counter.
picked it up. “Where did you get this?”
“I found it
lying in the street. Is it worth enough for a cake?” Wendy glanced at
the baked goods.
“With this stone
you can buy ten cakes. Pick out the ones you want and I'll box them for
Wendy moved from
one shelf to the other, pointing at cakes with cream icing, chocolate
flakes, and jam spread on top.
Mrs. Fingal put
them in a bag for her. “Here. Why don' t you take a loaf of bread too.”
She put it in the bag.
Wendy smiled and
headed home. She knew her grandma and grandpa and mother would be so
happy to have cake. “Grandma! I've got cakes for us.”
her hands on her apron and ran to the door to help Wendy. “You've got a
big bag there. Where did you get all this food?”
“I found a stone
in the road and Mrs. Fingal traded it for these cakes and bread.” Wendy
took the cakes out of the bag and put them on the table. “Grandma, we
can have a cake each tonight.”
“I'm not sure
what you found, but I'm glad Mrs. Fingal thought it was enough for all
this.” Grandma giggled and stuck her finger in some chocolate icing.
“This is delicious.”
Grandpa woke up.
“What's that I smell? Is it chocolate?” He came into the kitchen. His
eyes bulged. “Cakes?”
“You can have
your very own, Grandpa.”
any questions, he shoveled a cake into his mouth, savoring every bite.
mother came home, she was delighted to see the cakes and bread. She
listened as Wendy told her about finding the stone. “Well, that's
wonderful. I hope someday you can find another.”
They feasted on
white cake with apricot filling, cherry cake with vanilla icing and
chocolate cake with fudge icing. That night Wendy and her family slept
with smiles on their face. The next morning they had bread and butter
and Wendy went to school, singing and dancing down the street.
something lying in the street. “What' that?” She picked it up. “It's
another stone. It looks like an emerald.”
After school she
stopped at the bakery and once again Mrs. Fingal let her choose ten
things. She picked a jar of chocolate covered biscuits, an apple pie, an
angel food cake with strawberries on top, a fruit tart and instead of
getting more sweets, she chose five loaves of bread.
Once again the
family feasted and slept well.
Every day Wendy
found a stone and every day Mrs. Fingal let her choose things from the
bakery and every night Mrs. Fingal went out and laid the glass jewels in
the street so Wendy would find them. Never again would she have to watch
that sad little girl staring in the window.