From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

Spiced Up

A girl is innocence playing in the mud, beauty standing on its head, and motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.

Alan Beck

“The Andersons made this and brought it over for our dessert.” I sliced the loaf of zucchini bread still warm from our neighbor’s oven.

“This is different from yours.” My husband smacked his lips. “It has an interesting taste.” I tried it and agreed; it definitely had a different flavor.

Heather, age four, ate bite after bite. “It’s delicious.”

“Oh, I know,” I said after a minute. “It’s nutmeg! That’s the difference. I don’t put nutmeg in mine.”

“Nutmeg?” Heather stopped mid-bite. “Nutmeg is in the zucchini bread?” She set the piece back on her plate. “I don’t want anymore.”

My husband reached for another slice.

“No!” Heather suddenly shrieked. “The Andersons baked Nutmeg into the zucchini bread!”

“Oh, Heather,” I sputtered through my laughter, “not Nutmeg their cat. Look.” I opened the kitchen cupboard and held up a small tin. “Nutmeg is a spice, like cinnamon. See, Mrs. Anderson used nutmeg like this.”

Heather still seemed a little apprehensive, but slowly finished the zucchini bread on her plate. I cleared the table and began to load the dishwasher.

“Mommy,” a small voice interrupted me, “can we go for a walk—and look for Nutmeg?”

Marilyn G. Nutter

“Snow White was poisoned by an apple, Jack found a giant in his beanstalk, and look what happened to Alice when she ate the mushroom! And you wonder why I won’t eat fruit and vegetables!?”

Reprinted by permission of Randy Glasbergen. © www.glasbergen.com.

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