Billy was up bright and early – it was: 'Help Gran bake Christmas fruit cake day'.
He shot off, cramming the last bite of a door-step jam sandwich into his already full mouth. In his haste he hadn't time to think of trivial details like fastening his shoe laces – trip – bump – he got back on his feet, looked at his bleeding knees, quickly tied a knot in his shoelaces, and sped off again.
“Hello Gran – what can I do?”
“You can get cleaned up for a start, and by the look of those knees I'm going to have to patch you up too before we can get baking.”
“Owww! That yellow stuff stings!”
“See, that's better; now you're fit and ready. Most of the ingredients are here ready, but I need you to get the flour down off the top shelf. You'll need the steps to reach.”
Billy didn't want to admit he was too short so he gave an almighty stretch and wobbled the flour tin forward (too forward) - bang – clatter – lid off - flour spurts out, transforming the kitchen into a snow scene. After an hour of intense cleaning the mess of the flour storm some semblance of order was regained.
“Now we're out of flour. If it had been any of the other of the ingredients we could probably have managed – but without flour, we can't bake. So off you pop to the corner shop and get a 3lb bag of Granny Brown's best white.”
Zoom – zoom, and Billy's back.
“Sorry Gran for holding you up.”
“Not to worry, we can get started now. I need you to help weigh out all the ingredients and then give then a good mix.”
Billy was extremely careful not to make another mess even though he noticed his fingers shaking like his stick insects' mating dance.
“That's mixed lovely Billy – everything's ready now, so let's not fuss about the delay. I'll just pop it in the oven and then we'll have a tea and biscuit break. We deserve one! After that we'll make some decorations to pop on the cake for next time you come.”
“When will that be Gran?”
“We'll finish off by putting decorations on the cake in a day or two.”
“What theme would you like us to do this year Billy?”
“I've been thinking 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'. Would that be too hard?”
“That sounds a good idea – this is going to be your job – here's some coloured roll out icing and marzipan for modelling your scene. There's also some food colouring pens and paint – so get cracking Billy. On second thoughts I've got an icing plaque for you to write 'A Merry Christmas' on - try your hand at that first.'
Billy noticed Gran had stencilled the words onto the sugar writing plate. He started writing, trying to concentrate on keeping his hand still while piping the red icing. He couldn't keep the word lines neat as his hands quivered all over the place.
“Gran I'm making a mess – the letters are coming out all quivery.”
“That's how it should be on a Christmas cake – your Jack Frost writing looks well Billy.”
Billy bashfully reddened but he felt his heart might burst with pride at his Christmas writing. His next job was modelling the dwarfs. Gran left him to it whilst she busied herself tidying surplus ingredients and utensils away. He was proficient at modelling and made sound progress.
“Gran how do I make Dopey look dopey?”
“You give him a squint in one of his eyes. That should do the trick.”
“Let me have a look at how you're getting on our Billy. My, my, Snow White is delicious – we can't eat her – shall have to take her off and keep her for future use. You've done an excellent job.”
Billy felt his chest expanding again but it was soon crushed into place.
Gran gave him the biggest bear hug of all time and said, “Oh, I've loved us working together.”
“Me too Gran, me too.”
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