Auntie Ding-Dong

There once was a woman named Mrs. Dingle. The children who lived on her block liked to call her “Auntie Ding-Dong” because she often rang their doorbells. Mrs. Dingle, you could say, had “an enlarged heart.” That is, a heart full of sympathy for busy mothers and families under stress.

She would bake loaves of delicious bread, put them in baskets and take them around to neighbours who were going through a tough time. If she heard a mother was sick or just had a baby, Auntie Ding-Dong helped the family in her little way, carrying in a casserole or pot of soup, feeding the children, doing the washing up.

One neighbour boy tells how he loved to meet Mrs. Dingle as she walked down the streets carrying her basket of bread. She always had a smile and a cheerful hello for everyone. One day when his own mother was in bed with the ‘flu Auntie Ding-Dong rang their doorbell, handing them a large, still-warm loaf. The aroma made his mouth water.

Auntie Ding-Dong had been widowed when she was still quite young, so never had children of her own. But rather than spend her days hoping for the sympathy of others, she found fulfillment in helping other mothers when they were overwhelmed by the needs of their families. Someone once asked her whether she ever felt sorry for herself, to which she replied, “Why, I haven’t got the time!”

Note:
I once read this story in The Friendship Book of Francis Gay and thought it was worth retelling.

Lemon Pie


The world is full of gladness;
there are joys of many kinds;
there’s a cure for every sadness
that each troubled mortal finds.
And my little cares grow lighter
and I cease to fret and sigh,
and my eyes with joy grow brighter
when she makes a lemon pie.

When the bronze is on the filling
that’s one mass of shining gold,
and its molten joy is spilling
on the plate, my heart grows bold.
And the kids and I in chorus
raise one glad exultant cry
and we cheer the treat before us
which is mother’s lemon pie.

Then the little troubles vanish
and the sorrows disappear;
then we find the grit to banish
all the cares that hovered near.
And we smack our lips in pleasure
oe’r a joy no coin can buy
and we down the golden treasure
which is known as lemon pie.
From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

The Oddest Strudel

Here’s what I’ve cooked up for the Friday Fictioneers prompt this week. Much thanks goes to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who patiently hosts this flock of fiction fanatics. (My computer won’t do InLinkz, but you can click the blue frog on her blog to see this week’s smorgasbord.)

Special thanks also to Dale Rogerson for this week’s pizza photo prompt.

Photo © Dale Rogerson

The Odd Little House with the Odd Little Strudel

“Oh, Hansel! The birds ate all our crumbs! Now we’re lost.”

Her brother looked around desperately. “Wait…there’s a house! Maybe they’ll tell us the way home.”

The children ran to the cottage and knocked. “No one’s home.” Gretel sniffed. “But something smells delicious.”

“And I’m starving.” Hansel opened the door. “There it is… Whatever it is.” He hurried to the table, chopped off two chunks with a nearby knife, and handed one to his sister.

Hunger overpowered Gretel’s timidity. She bit into the odd food. “Mmm… But greasy. And this stringy cheese… Funniest strudel I’ve ever eaten.”

They heard someone cackle.