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Short Stories for Children of All Ages:  The Christmas golden pastryPedagogical Project “The Joy of Reading”

 The Christmas golden pastry

The story I’m going to tell you is called “The Golden Christmas Pastry”. They all are golden, golden all over, piled up on a platter, like a castle to be conquered.

The last ones are the best.
They are more sugared, they go to pieces at the slightest touch...

We gently pick one that has been left, push it along the platter to mop it up well, and quickly, without dripping on the towel, we snap it. Its crispy sound between our teeth, is music with sugar.

In that midnight supper they all had eaten Christmas pastries.
- They are delicious - they commented.

And, because they were so delicious, only one had been left at the bottom of the platter. It was a tiny round island, surrounded by a sea of sugar. All the eyes were staring at the pastry, which had golden sparkles. What temptation!

Around the table, they told their grandfather:
- There is only one pastry.
Why don’t you have it?
Then, the grandfather turned to grandmother and whispered to her:
- Have it yourself, come on.
The grandmother didn’t want to.
- You have it - she said, pointing at the pastry and her sons.
- I’ve had many already - one of them excused himself.
- I’ve had my share - another one said.
- Not another crumb - the third one declared.

It seemed that no one wanted to take the responsibility of eating the pastry. However, there it was all golden, prominent in the melted sugar. It really attracts the eye and... the taste.

But, around the table, they couldn’t make up their minds.

And the pastry, the last pastry, skipped thus from mouth to mouth, and yet it entered none of them. Out of courtesy, came aunt Louise’s turn:

- Let the children have it. I’d like to see which of my nephews can grab it first.
The children didn’t rush to the enticing pastry, as we would expect.
Each was waiting for his neighbour cousin... Either out of shyness or for any other reason whatever.
- After all, nobody will have it - they commented on the other side of the table. - This pastry must be magic.
They looked at each other and smiled.
The supper was coming to an end.

The children were sleepy. Their grandfather was dozing. There was the sound of the chairs dragging on the floor. They were trooping away.

- We’ll clean the house tomorrow - said aunt Louise, and she switched off the light of the dinning-room.
When everybody was gone, the pastry, in the dim light, in the middle of the table, started shinning. Brightly.
Believe it or not, as if it was lighted from the inside. Like a small sun or a bit of gold, melting into sugar.
António Torrado


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