It is Saturday and time for Stream of Consciousness. This week’s prompt is “cook.” Since it is also Christmas Eve, I think a Christmas story would be in order. Linda Hill says we can do whatever we want, so I think I have the portfolio. If you would like to read up and join the fun, go to Linda’s post. Here is the link.
Cook by John W. Howell © 2016
There is a lot of rumors going around that a new king of kings is to make an appearance in the village. Such nonsense is of no concern to Josiah. There is bread to bake and cakes to make. There is no time to be listening to the tounges wagging in the street. Josiah has the distinction of being the village cook and takes his responsibility seriously. Soon the people will descend upon his shop to buy this day’s labor.
The work starts early and Josiah must hurry to give the dough time to rise and to mix the batter until it is smooth. Sleeping late is a luxury for the idle rich and Josiah can barely make ends meet. He feels fortunate that he can keep a small portion of the bread for himself which is set aside for the time when he goes home for the day.
This day has been especially busy since there are new people in the village. There was a decree sent out by Caesar Augustus that all the people should be taxed. The decree further stated that each person should return to the land of their birth to be counted and then taxed. So many have come to his village that Josiah has been forced to make more and more bread and cake each day. Even so, he has had to turn away customers. Josiah does not take comfort in the increased business since the Miller charges him more and more each day for the flower. The evil man laughed and told him to go somewhere else if he didn’t like the price. There is nowhere else for Josiah to go. He must continue to work harder
So many have come to his village that Josiah has been forced to make more and more bread and cake each day. Even so, he has had to turn away customers. He does not take comfort in the increased business since the miller charges him more and more each day for the flower. The evil man laughed and told him to go somewhere else if he didn’t like the price. There is nowhere else for Josiah to go. He must continue to work harder and make less money for his trouble. Still, he feels fortunate that he is able to save a small portion for himself.
The business day finally ends and Josiah locks his shop and begins his long walk home. He decides to take a shorter way home past the stables that are behind the Inn. Nearing the stables Josiah encounters a light that makes daylight out of the dark. He stops and is struck with the wonder before him. There are animals clustered around a manager and at first Josiah though they were eating hay. Upon venturing closer Josiah could see a little baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the manger. A beautiful woman and proud looking man are there along with heavenly hosts praising God. Josiah is compelled to draw nearer and is filled with the spirit.
“E-excuse me. I don’t mean to interfere.”
“You are most welcome sir. Please come closer. This is the Christ child and my wife Mary. My name is Joseph.”
“I-I’m named Josiah which is also Joseph. Is this the king of kings I have heard about”
“So nice to meet you, Josiah. Yes, this is he.”
“I want to give the baby a gift but I don’t have anything to offer but this crust of bread.”
“He would be honored to receive it.”
“Here little baby. I’m sorry it is so meager and not worthy of the king of kings.”
“Your gift gives him pleasure and more from the heart than all the gold, frankincense, and myrrh which he has already received. Go in peace Josiah.”
“Thank you your grace.”
“I’m a carpenter, Josiah.”
“Thank you, Joseph.”