Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Bedtime Story (14/11/2018)

This story is an homage to some of the children's books I read at work with the young ones I teach.  It's also a good excuse to write about cake...

This story is, as always, also available as a podcast.

Jasper And The Birthday Cake

Jasper's mum's birthday cakes were legendary.  She made the moistest sponge.  She whipped up the fluffiest frosting.  She created cakes of all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of delicious flavours.  Everyone in the village knew that if they wanted a birthday cake made, Jasper's mum was the person to go to.

So, when it came to Jasper's mum's birthday, Jasper was worried.  Who was going to make her cake?!

Jasper got out of bed bright and early.  He dashed into his mum's room and handed her a card and present.  He gave her a big, birthday hug and then, before Mum had time to thank him, he announced: "I'm just popping out to see Gran and Grandad!"  And with that, he darted out of the house.

Gran and Grandad were a little surprised to see Jasper, considering the early hour.  But Jasper had an important plan and he needed their help: together, they were going to bake Mum the best birthday cake ever.

It wasn't easy.  Jasper wasn't sure his arms were strong enough to stir the cake mix properly.  It didn't look as smooth and creamy as when Mum made it.  

Whilst the cake was cooking in the oven, Grandad tried to show Jasper how to whip up the frosting, but no matter how hard Jasper tried, his frosting looked much grainier than Mum's.

When the cake was cooked, Gran took it out of the oven and Jasper pulled a face.  It wasn't perfectly shaped like Mum's were; the top was wonky and there were dents in the sides, where Jasper had put too much baking parchment into the tin.  Then, when he added the frosting, he couldn't help but think it looked much lumpier and messier than Mum's ever did.

Still, Jasper used an icing pen to write "happy birthday Mum!" on the top of the cake in large, slightly wobbly letters.  And even though the cake didn't look perfect, Jasper had to admit that the smell was delicious.

"Come on," Jasper called to his grandparents.  "Now we have to take this cake back to show Mum!"

Jasper set off, with Gran and Grandad close behind.  They hadn't gotten far, when Mr Terrance, the old man whose retirement cake Mum had made a few years before, noticed them and headed over to see what was going on.  He could smell the delicious scent of the cake and decided to follow Jasper and his grandparents, in the hope of getting a slice.

They rounded the corner and headed onto the high street, Jasper leading the way, with Gran and Grandad and Mr Terrance following behind.

As they walked past the corner shop, Mum's friend Betty spotted the cake.  It smelled so good, she thought she might like to try it, too.  And so she followed on behind.

Outside the salon, Mum's hairdresser, Cassie, was just about to open up for the day.  She spotted Jasper, carrying the birthday cake, with Gran, Grandad, Mr Terrance and Betty all following behind.  She sniffed the air and smiled.  Perhaps she could just follow them and see if there was a spare slice for her...

Jasper, Gran, Grandad, Mr Terrance, Betty and Cassie headed down the street and stopped at the traffic lights.  There, Frank the policeman, who'd once helped find Mum's missing purse, was just on his way home from a long shift.  He hadn't had any breakfast yet and the cake had such a lovely smell, it made him hungry.  He decided he'd best follow everyone, just to be sure they were safe, of course...

Crossing the road, Jasper walked past the park, with Gran, Grandad, Mr Terrance, Betty, Cassie and Frank the policeman all following behind.  In the park, Mum's friend Anne was walking her dog, Buster.  Buster tugged on his lead, wanting to know where everyone was going.  Anne chuckled to herself, as she joined the procession of people, walking down the street.

On the corner of Jasper's road, Jasper's best friend Tom was playing on his scooter.  He blinked in surprise when he saw everyone pass by.  Tucking his scooter under his arm, he decided to join them.

And so, Jasper, Gran, Grandad, Mr Terrance, Betty, Cassie, Frank the policeman, Anne, Buster the dog and Tom all arrived back at Jasper's house.  Mum was waiting by the front door.  "Oh!"  She gasped, as she saw everyone.

"I made you a cake," Jasper explained, not noticing the commotion behind him. "But it's not as good as the ones you make."

Mum shook her head.  "You brought everyone with you to share it!"  She exclaimed.  "All my friends and family!"

Jasper frowned and finally glanced behind, laughing as he saw everyone waiting for a slice of his cake.  "I...  Well...  Yes, I suppose I did!"

Mum grinned.  "Anyway, the best birthday cakes are the ones made with love.  Shall we have a slice?!"

"YES!"  Cried Jasper, Gran, Grandad, Mr Terrance, Betty, Cassie, Frank the policeman, Anne and Tom.  "WOOF!"  Barked Buster the dog.

And they all went inside, to eat a very special birthday cake, that may not have looked perfect, but tasted just right.


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