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Bob the Baker

By: Samuel Lin

The full moon glimmered eerily in the jet-black sky. A skinny chicken with disheveled feathers covered in grime and soot and a big gash on his head looked around, with the alertness of a chipmunk. Bob could hear the faint buzzing of the flies which swarmed around the street lights. He could see the faint silhouette of a small rectangular shop in the distance. On his tiptoes, Bob stealthily crept up to the store.

Weeeeeeeeee-Wooooooo, Weeeeeeeeee-Woooooooooo! Bob’s ears perked up as he caught the faint noise of the siren drifting over. Bob darted quickly to the nearest tree and crouched down behind it. Once Bob heard the siren get fainter, he let go a sigh of relief and continued creeping toward the store.

As Bob got to the window, he peeked his head through. The lights were off, and Bob could not sense any movement within. As a waft of freshly baked bread came out through the window, Bob felt himself drooling as his stomach growled with the ferociousness of a lion.

The temptation was too much. Bob scaled the wall with ease and jumped inside the store. Following his nose, Bob prowled to find freshly baked bread in the display. He cautiously opened the glass display case, trying not to make a single squeak. Once the display case was open, Bob wolfishly tore and gobbled all the bread in a single bite. He opened the second display case and ate all of the other bread within seconds.

Suddenly, Bob heard the creak of the opening of a door. Paralyzed with fear, Bob’s leg turned to Jell-O, and he swallowed the lump in his throat. Bob was frozen, unable to dart away as another chicken wearing a baker’s hat stared at him directly, jaw-dropping. The chicken was a plain red chicken with a dirty apron covered with dough, a lopsided chef’s hat, and wings covered with flour and dough. The chicken baker looked around at the empty cabinets that were once full of delicious bread, and all the crumbs on Bob's face. He was filled with more and more anguish that all his hard work had been lost.

“Get out of here, you stinky, filthy animal! I spent my whole life as a baker, trying to make a meager living out of baking bread. Now all my hard work is lost!” cried the baker.

“Please, Baker, don’t turn me into the police. I was just really hungry and couldn’t resist all your bread.”

“Why didn’t you buy the bread?” demanded the baker. His face turned red and he stomped his foot. He stormed toward Bob and stood right up in front of him, getting inches away from his face.

“Baker, I don’t have any money!” Bob continued. “I was once a track star, the best in town. Every day, the newspaper would write about me running unrunnable distances, beating unbeatable records. Then, on this fateful day, I took a wrong turn by accident and finished the race in an impossible time. People said I had cheated on purpose, that I was a dishonest, disloyal, detestable chicken. After the Big Race, my reputation was ruined. My sponsors left me; I went jobless.”

The baker’s face was no longer filled with anger. The baker looked upon Bob with eyes filled with compassion and understanding.

“. . . I looked everywhere for work, I asked the McDonald’s manager, I asked the garbage man, I asked the janitor. Yet...” Bob heaved up a sigh that was almost a sob.

“They all said no because of my reputation. After five days, I had to sell my beautiful chicken coop. I sold my TV, my books, and my toothbrush. Yet it wasn’t enough. I went hungry.”

Then the baker looked Bob straight in the eye and asked him, “You know Bob, I was once a poor boy who stole food from a bakery, just like you, because I was hungry. On the outside, you may seem like an evil criminal, but on the inside, I can see your heart is good. So Bob, would you like to become a baker?”

Bob smiled. “Yes.”

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