Jump to page: 1 2
Gustav, the baker, had just been told the good news that two of his dearest friends, Jonathan and Claire, had decided to join themselves in marriage. He leaped to his feet, and boldly declared, “I will make you the finest wedding cake I have ever created.” The looks coming from the newly engaged couple were stony and solemn, and Gustav could read their thoughts through their countenances. “My dear friends,” he said, I will be doing this for free. It is as much for my joy as it is for yours.”
Wide smiles spread across both of their faces. Gustav was known around the world for his cakes. In fact, people traveled from distant corners to taste his confections and share them with others. He spent long hours in his kitchen, preparing and building masterpieces for those who came seeking the uniqueness and pulchritude that he offered.
Jonathan and Claire left in a flurry of hugs and excitement.
As their wedding day rapidly approached, Gustav gathered all of the ingredients for his masterpiece. He studied out exactly what he believed would represent the true culinary gifts inside of him. He ordered new ingredients that he hadn’t tried before. He tested several recipes. He put his entire heart and soul into this cake because he knew that what he had inside of him was something that not only would dance on the taste buds… it would inspire those who tasted it.
There were only days left before his cake was to be delivered. He sat with an empty bowl, looking at his options. Which cake? he thought. Which cake will truly represent the baker Gustav? Which cake will be most delicious to the most people? He finally settled on what he knew all along was the right choice, and decided to go with chocolate.
Gustav toiled for three days over his chocolate cake. He baked a cake more dense, rich, and moist than any chocolate cake he’d baked in the past. He spent hours chiseling off the imperfections from each layer, and then hours more tenderly applying multiple layers of icing. He carefully crafted beautiful fondant patterns and layered them across the smooth surfaces of his cake.
As he labored, many passer-bys purposefully made their way by the windows of his shop to watch him work. Each day he set out a sample platter of different rolls and pastries to help satisfy their hunger. Each day the anticipation grew. Each day the excitement spread. And each day Gustav also felt more and more excited about what he was creating.
The morning of the wedding arrived. The air was perfect . The sun offered tender amounts of warmth to the occasional cool breeze. Gustav stood in the still empty reception hall, and with the skill of a surgeon he began to stack the layers of his cake, smooth out the final imperfections, and decorate the table with fine ornaments and linens.
When he had finished, he stepped back and looked at his finished presentation. It truly was beautiful and he felt that it did in fact represent what was inside of him. It represented what he wanted for Jonathan and Claire. It represented a beautiful future.
He also knew that some would not appreciate his gesture at all. He was okay with that. He knew that not everybody liked chocolate cake, and that some would refuse to taste it. He was okay with that too. He also knew that there were hundreds of guests coming to this wedding, and that there would be those among them who hated the cake, and resented him for making it. He didn’t understand why, but he knew from his experience as Gustav the Baker that it was inevitable. And he’d learned to be okay with that, too.
What mattered to him was that Jonathan and Claire would have a cake that was beautiful to them. What mattered to him was that the vast majority of guests would also enjoy the cake, and at least stop and think about what went into creating it. That was reward enough.
He draped a cloth of fine satin over the top of his chef d’oeuvre. That night he would unveil what he’d endeavored to create, free of charge, to his good friends. There was a sinking feeling in his stomach as he let go of the cloth. He’d felt such feelings before, and smiled because he knew that it signified him giving everything he had to give.
The events of the wedding day were beautiful. The bride and groom became husband and wife . Everything went perfectly and to plan. Hundreds showed up to the reception, including several who were unexpected. Word of Gustav’s cake had spread, and there were many who traveled long distances, hoping to enjoy it. Jonathan hit his spoon against his glass, and offered a public thank you to Gustav for the cake his friend the baker was about to unveil.
- 1 2