Friday, May 09, 2008

Bubblegum kisses

Callie carefully measured out the ingredients into her mother's glass bowl. Her porcelain cheeks were smeared with flour, her dark brown curls barely brushing her shoulders. Stepping up on her tiptoes on the step stool, she bit her lip as carefully poured steaming liquid from a pot into the bowl.

"One, two, three," she counted, dragging the spoon through the sticky material. Her mother was going to be so proud of her. She would never guess Callie had thought to make her a surprise. The play kitchen her grandmother had bought her had come in handy.

"Four, five, six..." The spoon was getting harder to drag, and her legs were beginning to hurt from standing on her tiptoes. She thought about lifting the bowl to the floor, but was worried she would drop it. Biting her lip with determination, her small arms strained against the thick goo.

"Seven, eight, nine and ten!" She wiped her brow, leaving behind a few crumbs stuck to her brow. Cooking was hard work. Maybe she didn't want to be a chef after all. She hopped off her step stool and pulled out a baking pan. She sprayed it with non-stick spray and turned on the oven, just like her mother taught her. Grabbing a bag of candy from the pantry, she climbed back on the step stool. As she was reaching up to the bowl, the bottom of the bag of candy in her hand burst open. Colorful candy poured into her bowl.

"Oh no!" Callie cried. "My creation is ruined." She looked at the clock. It was two thirty. Her mother would be back any minute.

"Oh well," she said, stirring the rainbow-colored goo. She shrugged and began to drop chunks of the mixture onto the pan. "Maybe it will taste better." She slid the pan in the oven and waited patiently for fifteen minutes. Well, not very patiently. She had a little candy to pass the time.

When the oven buzzer dinged, she rushed over with the pink potholders her mother had given her. She opened the oven door and gasped.

"Who are you?"

What had started out as simple caramels had turned into a blue elephant and a pink hippopotamus.

"Hello!" the elephant cried, hopping off the pan.

"How do you do?" the hippopotamus said politely.

"How did you get in the oven?" Callie asked.

"I don't know," the elephant shrugged. "I suppose you created us. Although who can say who really creates everything?"

Callie wasn't sure what to do. She had never baked an elephant or hippo before. "Am I supposed to eat you?" she asked.

"Are we supposed to eat you?" the hippo shot back.

"Of course not," Callie said. "That's ridiculous."

"But it's not ridiculous to eat us?" the elephant asked.

"No," Callie said. "You're candy. You're supposed to eat candy."

"How do you know we're candy?" the elephant asked.

"What else could you be?" Callie asked.

"An elephant," the elphant replied.

"A hippotomus," the hippo said. "Do you have any tea? I would dearly love some tea."

Callie automatically began to make him a cup of tea. "What am I supposed to do with you?" she asked.

"You don't have to do anything with us," the elephant said. "Just think of us as friends."

"Or pests," the hippo said, smiling widely.

Callie handed the hippo his tea. Just as she was about to ask another question, she heard her mother's key in the door...

To be continued.....