THE TWO LITTLE COOKS
Laura E. Richards.
Copyrighted 1903, by Dana, Estes & Co.
THERE was once a little He-Cook, the prettiest little
He-Cook that ever was seen. His eyes were as dark as
black currants, and his cheeks were as pink as the
cochineal he put in his best frosting, and his skin was
as white as the finest pastry flour. As for his hair,
it was exactly the color of barley sugar, and I hope
you know what a pleasant color that is. He wore a
snowy cap and apron, and always had a long, wooden
 hanging from his girdle. He was the very
best cook that ever lived, for he never cooked anything
that was not good. Jam, all kinds, and little round
plum cakes with pink and white frosting, and kisses,
and lemon pie, and floating island, and wine jelly, and
strawberry cream and dear little three-cornered
raspberry tarts, and oranges cut into baskets and
filled with whipped cream—oh, there was no end to the
good things this little He-Cook used to make!
He made doughnuts, too; and what do you think? One day
when he was making doughnuts he happened to look out of
the window, and he saw, walking by, a little She-Cook,
as pretty as a pink rose, and with a cap and apron just
exactly like his! So the little He-Cook ran to the
door, and said:
"Pretty little She-Cook, won't you come in?" And the
pretty little She-Cook said:
"Thank you, kindly, sir." So she came in, and he made
her sit down on the dresser, and then he brought her
some mulligatawny soup in a little china bowl with a
cover all painted with butterflies; three oyster
patties, the best you ever saw; a fat little quail on
toast, with mashed potatoes and gravy; a mince turnover,
and a lemon tart; a glass of orange jelly; a saucer of
ice-cream; and a lot of macaroons!
"He brought her some mulligatawny soup."
And when the little She-Cook had eaten all these
things, the little He-Cook said to her:
"Can you cook as well as that?"
"Just as well, but no better," answered the little
"Was there anything that could have been better done?"
"Yes; the piece of toast under the quail was darker on
one side than the other."
 "You are right," said the little He-Cook, "none
but a first-class cook would have observed it. Will
you marry me? We will cook together, and I feel sure
we shall be happy."
"That will I, with all my heart," said the little
She-Cook, "but who will marry us?"
Just at that minute who should come in but a fat priest
to buy a three-cornered raspberry tart.
"If you will marry me to this little She-Cook," said
the little He-Cook, "you shall have the tart for
"That will I, with all my heart," said the fat priest,
"but where is the ring to marry you with?"
Then the little He-Cook turned round and round and
round three times, thinking what he should do, for he
had no ring. After the third turn, his eye fell upon
the doughnuts that he had been making, and then he knew
what to do. He made a little ball of dough, and then
he patted it flat, and then he took the little
She-Cook's finger and poked it right through the middle
of the doughnut, and then he dropped the doughnut into
And when it was all done it was the most beautiful
gold-brown color that ever was seen. As soon as it was
cool, the little He-Cook put it on the little
She-Cook's finger, which of course, it fitted
perfectly, and the fat priest married the two. And
they filled his hat with doughnuts, and his pockets
with buns and cocoanut cakes, and that was a very good
day for the fat priest. And the little He-Cook and the
little She-Cook lived together in perfect happiness
ever afterward, both stirring the soup at once, and
never quarreling; and they always made holes in their
dough-  nuts in remembrance of their wedding-day, and
so every one else has made them ever since.