Today's Parable - 2017 - 06 - 01 - A Little Goes a Long Way

A Little Goes A Long Way
(c) 2017 Haylee V

Once upon a time, a poor baker decided to bake a loaf of bread. He gathered all of his ingredients, and set about making the dough.
After kneading and proofing it, he set the dough aside to rise in the afternoon sun, being mindful to pinch off a tiny bit and store it in a jar in his cupboard, for later use.

"Why do you ALWAYS do that, Father?" his son asked one day.

"I need to replenish my starter, Son," the baker replied. "So I take a tiny part of each loaf, and let it sit in the jar for the next day's baking. Without it, the bread will not rise."

With that, the son's mind was placated, and he went back to his chores.

After a while, the baker set about making the loaves for the day. He rolled out the 12 loaves he needed, and then rolled out two smaller loaves - for himself and his son. After placing all the loaves on to bake, the son noticed a very tiny loaf had also been placed in the fire, along with the others. The loaf would not have fed even the smallest of children, and was little more than a mouthful.

"Why do you always make a tiny loaf with the scraps, Father, instead of adding it to your jar?"

"We have enough for the proofing already, Son. It takes very little, and too much will cause the entire batch to be worthless. Thus, I always cook the excess into a charity loaf, for the Abbot or the Nuns. Someone can ALWAYS benefit that way, and nothing goes to waste."

The child thought on this as well before he continued his playing.

One day, the baker went out, leaving the son to make the daily loaves. The son divided the dough as always, but thought to himself, If I use all the dough, I can make us each a bigger loaf, and we can feast tonight. It's such a tiny thing, anyway. Surely it won't really matter if I don't set aside something for the proof jar or the charity loaf.

The son made the loaves and set them to cook, and then went to play as usual. Unfortunately, he forgot all about the bread, and all the loaves burned beyond repair. There would be nothing to sell today, nor would there be a grand feast. The child's heart was broken.

When the baker returned at the end of the day, he was disappointed, but not crestfallen. He knew that they would get by, somehow.

"I'm sorry, Father," the son said meekly. "But now what will we do?"

"We will go to the Church and pray, Son. Things will work out."

So they left their hovel -- the baker with a wise, knowing smile, and the son looking defeated. When they arrived at the abbey, the abbot shook hands warmly with the baker. After explaining the situation, the abbot gave the child a warm smile and a knowing wink. He handed the baker a wrapped basket and a small pouch, and gave him a blessing before sending the pair on their way.

When they returned home, the child's curiosity finally got the better of him. As his father laid the basket and pouch on the table, the child sneaked a peek into the basket. Inside, he found two fresh loaves of bread, a wedge of cheese, and a small bottle of wine. Inside the pouch were 10 gold crowns -- enough to cover their expenses for a week -- and a tiny jar of starter.

The boy then turned to his father, confused.

"Aah, my Son! You have discovered my secret. Each day, when I take my charity loaf to the abbot, I also give him a jar of starter, so the Nuns can make bread for the needy. They also sell the loaf I bring them to help run the abbey. That's how the abbot was able to help us today."

Moral:

A small gesture, when multiplied by many hands, can blossom into a veritable bounty.

Charity need not be anything grandiose. Even a small gift, given with love, can work wonders.
The same can be said of evil deeds and gossip. It only takes a tiny fragment to ruin someone's life or reputation.



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This story is 725 words long.