Folk Tale – The Bakers Daughter

The baker was thin-lipped; he never gave so much as a crumb away. But his daughter was worse. Not only was she mean; she simpered and toadied to the rich and she insulted and sniffed at the poor.
One day one of the good people came walking by. She picked up some old clothes that had long served her mistress and been left out for the rag-and-bone man and slipped them on. She pressed her palms against the dusty face of the street and rubbed her cheeks.
The woman then went into the bakers shop. The baker was out and the daughter looked at the woman and tossed back her fair hair. “Yes?” She said.
“Can you spare me some dough?” said the woman.
“Dough?” said the girl. “Why should I? If I give dough to everyone who comes through the door, there won’t be ant=y left, will there?”
The woman hung her head, “…haven’t any money,” she mumbled
“Whose fault is that?” asked the girl.
“…anything to eat.”
“Eh?” said the girl, pulling a small piece of dough off the floury, flabby mound that wallowed on the table behind her. “Think yourself lucky!” she said, and she shoved the piece into the oven on the rack just beneath her won trays of well-shaped loaves.
When the girl opened the oven again, she saw that the woman’s dough had so risen that she had the biggest loaf in the oven.
“I’m not giving you that,” said the girl. “If that’s what you think.”
She twisted off another piece of dough, no more than half the size of the small piece. “You’ll have to wait,” said the girl, and she shoved it into the oven under another batch of her own loaves. But this piece of dough swelled even more than the first piece, and the second loaf was larger than the first loaf.
“Or that!” exclaimed the girl. “Certainly not!”
The baker’s daughter tossed back her hair in a temper and squeezed off a third piece of dough scarcely bigger than your thumb. She shoved that into the oven under a batch of fairy cakes, and slammed the door.
After a while, the girl turned round to open the oven again. Behind her, meanwhile, the woman slipped off her ragged clothing. She stood in the baker’s shop, tall and white and shinning.
When the girl opened the oven, she saw that the third piece of dough had risen so that it was the biggest loaf of all three.
The girl stared at the loaf. Her eyes opened, very round and very wide. “Why,” she said, turning round to face the beggar woman, “why, who, who…”
“Whoo-whoo!” cried the good woman. “Whoo-whoo! That’s all you’ll ever say again.”
The girl cowered on the other side of the counter.
“Whoo-whoo!” cried the woman. “This world’s put up with you for long enough-you and your sniffs and insults.” Then she raised her stick and struck the girl’s right shoulder with it. At once the baker’s daughter turned into an owl. She flew strait out of the door, hooting, and away into the dark reaches of the night.

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