The All-By-Myself-Alone Cake

The All-By-Myself-Alone Cake

"Walk on tiptoe all through the house, Daddy," Wendy demanded of her father in great excitement, as he came in the front door one evening.

"I've got a sponge cake in the oven that I made all-by-myself-alone, Daddy, and please walk on tiptoe or you might make my cake fall. I'm almost ready to take my cake out of the oven and I want you to see my cake. Come right into the kitchen, quick!"

Her father followed Wendy, walking quietly as a kitten. Very softly Wendy opened the oven door and then she screamed with delight. "Oh, my cake is just perfect."

"It is a beautiful cake," said her father.

"Yes," said Wendy, as she carried it carefully to the pantry. "My cake is wonderful and to think that I made this cake all-by-myself­alone! And just think, Daddy, nobody helped me at all."

Her father put an arm about Wendy and gave her a big squeeze. "Your daddy is proud of you," he said. "I can hardly wait to eat some of your cake. I want to have a big piece for dinner."

Susan, who was Wendy's playmate, came over from the next house. Wendy proudly showed her the cake in the pantry.

"What a lovely golden sponge cake!" said Susan.

"Yes," replied Wendy, as she tossed her head into the air. "And I made my cake all-by-myself-alone, and nobody helped me at all."

Susan's brother, John, who seemed to be able to smell cookies and cakes a long way off, came in through the kitchen saying, "Oh, what is that I smell?"

Wendy tilted her head into the air. "Oh, it's just a golden sponge cake that I made all-by-myself-alone, and nobody helped me at all."

At supper Wendy was beaming when her father began to eat a piece of her cake. "This is a very fine cake, Mother," he said.

Wendy looked all around the table, gave her head a little toss, "Yes, I made this cake all-by-myself-alone, and nobody helped me at all."

This time Wendy's father looked across the table at Wendy's mother and then said to Wendy, "So you did it all alone, without help from anyone? How did you know what to put into the cake?" he asked.

"Oh," replied Wendy, "Mother showed me a cake recipe in her big cookbook, the one with the blue covers."

"How many eggs did you use and where did you get them?" her father inquired.

"That's the wonderful part of it," answered Wendy, "I used only ten eggs, those lovely, fresh eggs, you know, that the farmer's wife brings in from the country for Mother every week. I did feel sorry when she brought them to our door yesterday. It was bitterly cold and she looked half-frozen."

"Do you have to use flour in making a cake?" her father pretended ignorance.

"Of course, Daddy," Wendy said. "I used that fine cake flour that Mother buys down at the store, and besides that, we have to use milk and flavoring."

"And did you cook it in the gas oven?" her father questioned.

"Why do you ask so many silly questions about what I put into the cake?" demanded Wendy.

"Well," said her father, "I was trying to figure out how many people really had a hand in making this cake. You said so often that this was an 'all-by-myself-alone' cake. I was thinking of your mother's cookbook, and the one who discovered this recipe, and of the printers who set the type for the cookbook, of the farmer's wife who fed her hens twice a day so that you could have those fine eggs for your cake, and who came to deliver the eggs at our door on the cold winter morning. I was thinking, too, of the farmers who planted the wheat over in Kansas, and of the millers who ground the wheat into flour. I was thinking of the farmer who got up at four o'clock in the morning to milk the cows. I was thinking of the vanilla bean that grows down in the tropics, and the men who extracted the juice to make a flavoring for your cake. I was thinking also of the man shoveling the coal in the boilers of the gas house to provide the cooking gas with which you baked your cake. And really, Wendy, I was beginning to wonder if there could be such a thing as an 'all-by-myself-alone' cake?"

"Daddy, I never thought of that before," responded Wendy slowly. "I had forgotten how much we depend for about everything on other people. I think I must have had a good many hands in my cake bowl, when I was mixing and baking my cake. I didn't know :low selfish I was, when I thought that I had made this cake all-by-myself-alone."

"Perhaps we can find a new name for the cake," said her father. "How's this, Wendy—an 'all-by-myself-with-help-from-lots-of-other people' cake?"

Wendy squealed with delight. "I just love that name; it even sounds like a much nicer cake."

Mother laughed, too, and said, "The Bible has a good verse for your cake-making. Can you guess what it is?"

After a moment, Wendy said, "It must be that one we learned in vacation church school, 'We are laborers together with God."

And so it was.

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