Flying Over the Ice
   Cinderyella
   What the Year Will Bring
   Little Yella Riding Hood
   Baker's Dozen
   Smile at the Judges
   Axe Upon Axe
   Olives in Tuscany
   Pajama Pants or
 Sweat Pants?

BAKER'S DOZEN
By Abigail Marble

ONE sleepy baker
Wakes long before dawn.
He sits up and stretches
And scratches and yawns.
His brain is still foggy
His hair is askew, but
He can’t dilly-dally—
There’s too much to do.
He brushes his teeth
And straightens his hair,
And pulls on his smock
As he stumbles downstairs.
The bakery is dark,
He flicks on TWO lights,
And grumbles a little —
It’s hard working nights!

But he rolls up his sleeves,
Examines his lists,
And whips up a batch
Of cinnamon twists.

Warm sugar smells waft
Through crannies and nooks.
The baker peruses
THREE recipe books

He muses, “which bread
Will customers buy?
Should I make sourdough?
White, wheat or rye?

“I’ll just make all FOUR,”
he answers himself,
and tosses the books
aside on a shelf.

 

Out come the mixers,
The sifters and flour,
yeast, butter, wheat germ —
in less than an hour

The pastries slide out,
The loaf pans slide in,
And the baker begins
Filling up muffin tins.
Soon FIVE loaves are baking,
And five more are done,
And five more are rising…
And so is the sun.
As light warms the shop
The baker is worried
it’s quarter to SIX, and
he really must hurry.

It’s late! He’s afraid
He won’t finish his work —
He must frost the cupcakes!
The coffee must perk!

Sweet buttery cookies
Are swiftly prepared;
The SEVEN layer cake
Is frosted and layered.

He mixes and measures,
He kneads, pours and stirs.
He’s busy and dizzy
And everything blurs

The clock ticks top speed,
But he must take a rest--
EIGHT batches are baking;
He’s doing his best…

After only a moment
he shakes off his woes
And tackles more batters
and mixtures and doughs.

 
NINE kinds of doughnuts
Require his attention:
Plain, chocolate, frosted –
Too many to mention.

He stops to arrange
The alluring array—
A plateful of cream puffs
completes the display.

He looks at the clock –
Just TEN minutes more
Until it is time
To open the door.

 

 

He sets up ELEVEN
Small tables and chairs
And sweeps out the kitchen
And under the stairs.
 

He gazes around –
Is everything set?
He wonders aloud,
“What did I forget?”

His wandering eye
Just happens to fall
On the calendar hung
On the opposite wall:
TWELVE bright red X’s –
That he’s overlooked:
Today is the day his
Vacation is booked!

One sleepy baker
Is now wide awake –
He has to think fast
About what steps to take.

He shuts up his shop;
He packs his valise;
He grabs his train tickets—
He’s ready to leave!
He runs THIRTEEN blocks
To the railway station,
Sinks into his seat
And begins his vacation!

The phrase “a baker’s dozen” is another way to say thirteen. Nobody knows exactly where the phrase came from, but many surmise that it is the result of strict laws governing the price of bread during the middle ages in Europe. Rather than risk a stiff fine for shortchanging a customer, many bakers would throw in an extra roll for each dozen a customer ordered.

 


  • Learn more about Hezekiah’s tunnel
  • Take a virtual tour of the tunnel

    Joy Nelkin Wieder is the author/illustrator of “The Secret Tunnel,” a Fun-to-Read book for children seven to ten years.

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