Who Baked the Cookies?

It was a Monday evening, a little less than a week before the pandemic really hit New Zealand. Everyone was a bit tired after dinner, so Daddy and Annie sat down to watch Mr Rogers on the couch. Mr Rogers was the best thing to watch when you were feeling tired or sad or grouchy. He always made you feel better. That evening, one of the characters was taking other people’s things when they weren’t around. She justified it by explaining that they were “sharing” with her. Needless to say Annie was totally engrossed in the show, on the edge of her seat, wondering what would happen. Cora watched a bit as well. She danced whenever a song came on, toddling in circles on the carpet. Towards the end, Mommy came and joined them as well.

It was Mommy who first noticed, at the end of the show, an interesting smell. It was a very nice smell. No one was sure where it was coming from. Annie speculated that it might be the smell of a distant rainbow in a faraway land where there was sunshine and rain. Her parents agreed that this was possible, but pointed out that since the door was closed, it would be difficult to smell a rainbow that far away. So they looked around the house instead.

It was Annie who discovered the source of the smell: a plate of peanut butter cookies, still warm, sitting on the table.

This raised a big question: where had the cookies come from? Who had baked them? Annie munched on a cookie and speculated.

It wasn’t Daddy. It wasn’t Cora. They had been with her while she was watching the movie.

It couldn’t have been the snake in the book The Gruffalo, which Annie read in school, because snakes don’t have arms or claws or anything. So he couldn’t have baked them. And he couldn’t have been working together with the Gruffalo, since he was scared of the Gruffalo. It could have been the snake working with the fox, though. That was possible.

It could have been Daniel Tiger, from Mr Rogers, since some of the cookies had chocolate chips on the top, which were arranged in a way that looked rather like a paw print. Or perhaps it was Mr Rogers himself. Maybe he came out of the TV and baked the cookies. Maybe he came out of the TV, flew on an airplane to Rhode Island, and learned how to make the cookies from Grandpa Roy. Annie recognized the cookies as Grandpa Roy’s cookies. Perhaps Mr Rogers then came back, snuck into the kitchen, and baked the cookies.

Perhaps Grandpa Roy came on an airplane and baked the cookies himself.

Perhaps one of the neighbors had baked them. Annie decided that they should go ask all the neighbors if they had baked the cookies. Mommy pointed out that it was seven o’clock and therefore time to get ready for bed, but Annie explained that that didn’t matter. They had to find out who baked the cookies. It was far more important than bedtime. She took Daddy down the street to their two nearest neighbors, with the plate of the mysterious cookies. The neighbors all denied baking the cookies. Annie and Daddy shared cookies with the neighbors anyway. Annie wanted to see more neighbors but it was starting to rain and it was cold out, so she had to turn around, which was very distressing. So she came home to speculate some more.

Perhaps her friend Willa, who was now a four-year-old, had baked the cookies. Willa lived not too far away from Annie. Perhaps she flew on an airplane to Rhode Island, learned how to bake the cookies from Grandpa Roy, and then flew back here, and snuck into the kitchen, tiptoeing as she went, and baked the cookies. Annie wanted particularly to go to Willa’s house to ask. But it was too far and too cold and too dark and too rainy.

Perhaps one of the swans from Trumpet of the Swan baked the cookies. Annie’s mommy had just started reading this book to her. Annie felt they should search all the lakes in the world. If they didn’t see anything in the lakes, they should move on to a different lake, looking for swans. Mommy felt this might present some logistical challenges.

Daddy hinted that perhaps Mommy had made the cookies. Annie asked Mommy, who did not admit but did not deny making the cookies.

Annie thought about this, but the idea of Mommy making the cookies was too anticlimactic. It had to be someone else – some mysterious person who had snuck into their house, and baked the cookies just a few yards away from the family, while they were sitting in the living room. Annie went to bed with her head full of plans for the morning – more houses to visit, more people to ask, trying to unravel the inexplicable mystery of the cookies.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *