Chapter 5: The Baker’s Windows
by Kristen S. Sandoz
Tonight our story returns to Copper and Justly. After Justly saved Copper from an untimely death he had to find a new place to sleep at night. Before Copper Justly slept under the outdoor oven at the Baker’s complex. It was such a warm and dry place to nestle into, even on the coldest and wettest nights. This clay oven was stoked every day for the baking of the finest breads in the entire kingdom (so the Baker thought) and it would therefore emit warmth long into the night. Justly received the privilege of sleeping under the oven by cleaning the windows of the Baker’s shop. I know you think that I am making a mistake, but I am not! Despite being blind Justly had an excellent reputation for window washing. How did he do it, you ask? Well, let me tell you his secret for it is one all of us would do well to know.
Every month Justly preformed this duty for the baker. He had heard that a window could show you what you looked like. As he washed the windows he would imagine what he might look like in the window’s reflection. Did he have a cleft chin or big ears? Was his hair the color of warm sunshine or of the cool forest? Did he look like thin string beans or thick tree trunks? He had a hunch that he looked like thin wiry string beans but it would be nice to know for certain. Sometime he would take to imagining what he wanted to look like. He wanted his arms to be like the branches of a strong walnut tree. He wanted his face to be like the rays of the sun, warm and welcoming.
Then his thoughts would drift away from what he looked like on the outside to what he looked like on the inside. As he meditated on this while he washed the window’s spots a magical thing happened to both Justly and the Baker’s window. Justly was actually washing away the things inside himself that were making him spotty and unclean. He would wash away his own desire to tell little innocent fib, or he would wash away his fear of water, or he would wash away his hatred for the boys in town who bullied him. As those dirty spots in Justly were wiped clean so were the window’s spots with them. All that was left was crystal cleanness. Both inside and out!
It was in this way that the windows of the Baker’s shop were cleaned each month. What a way to start a day with self-evaluation and meditation! The Baker was so in awe of the boy’s ability to perform this duty with such a disability that he let the boy claim the warm spot under the oven as his own. The Baker regularly left day old bread for Justly as well, but you did not hear that from me as the Baker prided himself on his firm hand with the beggars of the community. With Justly he had a fondness and often couldn’t resist giving him these little gifts. He felt, too, that it was better than letting the rats or pigs have his marvelous bread.
I have gone down a rabbit trail with the Baker and his windows. Now I will have to save Justly’s search for a new bed until next time. In the meantime, wash a window and meditate on what the Witch Hazel tells every young person who will listen, “Handsome on the inside is handsome on the outside.”
1…Now my story is done.
2…I love you!
3…Please kiss me.