|Jack and the Cookie Jar
The house was very quiet. Jack's sister Sophie had gone shopping with their mom. His dad was in the garage changing the oil in the car. The video his dad had put in for him was over. Jack was all by himself, and he didn’t know what to do.
He had read a book, and played with his “little guys”, the plastic superheroes he collected. He had watched the video twice. He couldn't think of anything else he wanted to do, and besides, he was getting hungry.
Downstairs in the kitchen, Jack looked around for a snack. He looked in the cupboard. He looked in the drawer. No cookies in the cookie jar, no crackers on the shelf. What was he going to do?
“I think I’ll make something for myself to eat,” he said, and just thinking about it made him grin.
“What shall I make?” he wondered out loud.
“Cookies!” came a little voice from behind him.
“What! “ exclaimed Jack, and he whipped around to see who was talking. There was nothing behind him except the kitchen counter with its neat line of matching canisters and the big, red, apple-shaped cookie jar with its smiling face.
“Cookies, I said,” said the Cookie Jar. “You’re not the only one who’s empty. I haven’t had a thing in me for a week!”
“But I don’t know how to make cookies,” said Jack, sadly.
“Well, I should certainly know how”, said the Cookie Jar. “I probably know everything there is to know about cookies! I could help you.”
Jack clapped for joy!
“FIRST THING: Wash your hands. That’s what She always does.”
Jack pushed the stool close to the sink and washed his hands.
He squirted a bit into his palm and squeezed it, making lots of suds.
“That’s enough! “
Jack stuck out his chin and glared at her.
In a nicer voice, the Cookie Jar said, “Now, let’s get out the ingredients.”
“The what?” asked Jack.
“The stuff you’re going to use to make cookies.”
“Oh.” Jack looked up and down and around. “I don’t see any.”
“You’ll need flour. It’s on the shelf in that white sack.”
Jack pushed the bench to the corner of the counter and scrambled up. He could only reach it if he climbed onto the counter itself, so up he went.
“Careful!” warned the Cookie Jar.
“Start with a cup of flour,” she said.
Jack took his dad’s coffee cup from the peg and set it down. Then he picked up the sack of flour, opened it and started to pour. The flour went everywhere. Untroubled, he poured some more until the cup was full. Then he tidied the counter, sweeping the extra flour onto the floor, using the side of his hand like the blade of a snow plow.
Looking quite pleased with himself, he asked, “What’s next?”
Cookie Jar was a little ruffled. Things didn’t seem to be going quite right, and she didn’t know what to do.
“Sugar,” she said. “I think. Yes, yes, of course. Sugar.”
“How much?” asked Jack.
“A-another cup,” she said, trying to sound confident.
Jack plucked his mom’s cup from its peg and set it alongside. Then he reached for the sugar bowl, and dumped its contents into the cup. The lid and the spoon went flying!
Jack was alarmed. He hopped down from his stool to retrieve them.
“Oh we’re all right, we’re all right!” said the spoon. “Wasn’t that fun?” she asked the lid.
“Speak for yourself,” said the lid indignantly. “I was holding onto myself for dear life!”
No harm had come to them. Jack put them on the table and returned to his stool.
“Now what?” he asked the Cookie Jar.
“Add a pinch of salt,” she said, sounding sure of herself again.
Jack puzzled about this for a moment. He poured some salt onto the counter and pinched a little, and then he put it in one of the cups.
“Like that?” he asked.
“Just like that,” the Cookie Jar nodded approvingly. “Now mix them all together!”
The sugar bowl had been only half full, and now his mom’s cup still had plenty of room in it. Carefully, he poured the flour from his dad’s cup into his mom’s, making a mountain shape at the top.
“Good!” he said, pleased.
“You have to stir to mix them together,” said Cookie Jar.
Jack looked doubtful, but he picked up the sugar spoon. “It will mess up my mountain, “ he complained.
“Just do it,” said Cookie Jar sternly.
Jack did his best.
“There. That’s it. Now you put them in the pan and cook them and eat them,” said the Cookie Jar.
Jack began to get a pan from underneath the oven, but he didn’t know what to do next. “Something isn’t right here,” said Jack.
“She doesn’t know what to do, she doesn’t know what to do! Hi-ho the Cookie Jar, she doesn’t know what to do!” the Sugar Spoon sang gleefully.
Jack began to cry.
Just then his dad came in the back door, heading for the sink to wash his greasy hands.
“What’s this?” asked Dad. “You are making a mess in the kitchen!”
“I was trying to make cookies, but I guess we didn’t know how,” Jack sobbed.
“Come here,” said Dad as he wiped his hands on the kitchen towel. “We’ll see what we can do. Cookies sound good to me too.”
Jack’s dad gave him a good hug, and then he got out the mixer and a recipe book.
“I’ll read the recipe and help you get out the ingredients…”
“The stuff I need to make cookies,” Jack beamed.
“Yes, that’s right. I’ll read what to do, and you can do it. And you can ask me for help if you need to,” said Dad.
Together they made two dozen delicious cookies, and they even saved some for Mom and Sophie.