Wednesday, October 2, 2013


The Kitchen Table
By Beth J. Whiting

Nicolas and his family were poor. One day they woke up and there was a feast to behold on their table.

They all murmured to themselves how this could have happened. There was turkey and ham and mashed potatoes. The family spent nearly an hour eating the food.

Then the boy heard rumors from some children at school that they had gotten food as well.

Who was the benefactor?

Nicolas and his family woke up at 7 a.m. Nicolas noticed his family started getting meals on Wednesdays. He stayed up all night Tuesday near the kitchen. At 2 a.m. he heard a noise. He looked up and there was a beautiful sixteen year old girl bringing food in from a car. She set it on the kitchen table.

He whispered from the corner, “Who are you?”

The girl looked startled that someone had seen her.

She acknowledged that she was a cook from the palace who liked to give meals to needy people.

“Another cook and I make them for service and fun. We like to hear the stories from the village about how we’re helping people out.”

“Well you are. Many people are happy. My family included.”

“Please do not tell anyone about what I’ve done.”

“Ok. But don’t leave yet. I would like to make friends with a person who does such service.”

She told him he could meet her at a field the next day at 3.

So Nicholas went to his school and then he hurried on to the field where the girl who called herself Matilda had prepared a light meal for them to enjoy.

“How can you afford all of these ingredients for all of these people?”

“I’ll tell you a secret. I’m the princess. The cook and I became friends when I was a little girl. She taught me how to cook. We discussed it over the years. Then we finally agreed to do it, to help the poor people of this town.”

“How do you get into the houses?”

“Most of them are open. This is a safe community. Only a few houses are locked. We don't do anything at those.”

“The king must have known about the shortage in the kitchen.”

“No, it comes out of my allowance.”

“You mean you pay for it?”

“I don’t care. I want to do good.”

Nicolas was intrigued by this do-gooder.

He told his mom when he got home, “I have a crush on a girl.”

“That’s nice.”

Nicolas wasn’t about to tell his mom that he had a crush on a princess.

Nicolas insisted that he go on one of the journeys with the princess and the cook. They went to one of the poor houses in the neighborhood. It was fun putting food on the table. He could only imagine the surprise of the people when they woke up, the confusion, the smiles that would come.

After a couple months of deliveries, however, a middle-aged man claimed that a golden watch had stolen by them by the kitchen intruder. The news spread throughout the town.

Nicolas and Matilda agreed that the person must have been lying.

"Please do not tell anyone about what I’ve done.”

A court date was set and under the full weight of the court it was demanded that the person who had been doing the kitchen table surprises appear for questioning.

The princess and the cook entered the courtroom with great confusion amiss.

“Why are you here, princess?” asked the judge.

“Because I have been the one who has been giving the kitchen feasts. Only I have stolen nothing.”

The court discussed it. A princess who surely had everything would not steal a golden watch.

The princess decided not to fight the liar. She bought him a golden watch. To the amazement of the town, she also set a date aside for the whole town to be fed. It was in a large park and it was one of the most enchanting days the town had ever had. The children played games. All the food that could be imagined was served.

The people in the town proclaimed that the princess was the best dinner host in the land.

From then on, when a person had an unexpected meal on their kitchen table they knew it had come from the princess, a sweet one indeed.

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Beth J. Whiting was born in 1983 to a large family of brainy eccentrics. At eight years old she developed a love of books through the works of Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis. Her short stories revolve around underdogs in suburban settings, such as the one in which she was raised. She currently lives with her artistic twin sister in a tiny apartment in Mesa, Arizona.


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