Young Hearts (Chapter 5, page 2 of 4)

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Chapter 5

"I can do it," Molly said.

Ugly Phyllis tousled Molly's hair hard enough to make her wince. "I'm sure you think you can, Carrothead. This is a grownup job, though. Not for babies."

"I'm not a baby!" Molly protested, but Ugly Phyllis had already slammed the door in her face. Molly felt heat rising in her face and stamped her foot in the snow at Ugly Phyllis's nerve to call her a baby.

She stomped back to the bakery and told Mama Becky what Ugly Phyllis had said. Mama Becky knelt down to kiss Molly on the cheek. "Of course you're not a baby. You're my big girl. Here, you can help me with the crusts," Mama Becky said. She helped Molly up onto a stool so she could reach the counter.

A lump of floured dough lay on the counter. Mama Becky showed Molly how to use the rolling pin to smooth the dough flat. But when Molly tried to imitate Mama Becky's smooth, graceful strokes, the rolling pin shot from her grasp and fell to the floor. "Don't worry about it, sweetie. It takes a little bit of practice."

Mama Becky handed the rolling pin back to her and this time Molly attacked the dough. The stupid dough still wouldn't flatten the way Mama Becky had done it. Instead, the dough became a steep-sided mountain on the counter. Mama Becky finally snatched the rolling pin away as Molly started to cry. "There now, it's all right, sweetie. You're doing fine. You just need to relax a little. Don't try to hurt the dough. You want to stroke it, massage it." Mama Becky easily smoothed the mountain into a puddle on the counter.

"I can't do it," Molly said through her tears. "I'm a stupid baby like Ugly Phyllis said."

"No, sweetie. Some people are better at things than others. Why, your Aunt Samantha can't boil water without burning it. When she was about your age, she almost burned the kitchen down trying to bake a loaf of bread."

"Really? She was that bad?"

"She was awful. Your Aunt Prudence and I barred her from ever trying to cook again."

Molly giggled and wiped the tears from her eyes. Aunt Samantha couldn't cook and no one would call her a baby. Molly hugged Mama Becky. "Thank you, Mama."

"You're welcome, sweetie."

"I miss Aunt Samantha and Aunt Prudence. When are they coming back?"

"I don't know, sweetheart. Soon, I hope." Mama Becky's face turned sad at this. Molly wondered if she were about to cry. Instead, Mama Becky wadded the dough up again. "This time we'll do it together, all right?"

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