Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Cinder Eddie. Cinder Eddie was a kind boy who loved helping others almost as much as he loved cooking. Unfortunately, Cinder Eddie was tormented by a pack of bullies.
One day at lunch, Cinder Eddie stood in the cafeteria line, chatting with the lunch lady, discussing recipes. Cinder Eddie was always looking for new things to cook at the soup kitchen where he volunteered every week. “I like to try new things, especially when they are good, tasty meals for my friends at the soup kitchen,” Cinde Eddie told the lunch lady.
“I think you’ll like this new casserole recipe,” the lunch lady said, and handed a recipe card to Eddie. “My grandkids love it; they don’t even realize it’s full of all the vegetables they usually won’t touch!”
Suddenly, a noisy group of students barged into the lunch line. “Move it, Baker Boy,” said a large boy, pushing Cinder Eddie out of the way. “We want our lunch.”
“Yeah, get lost, Kitchen Nerd,” echoed another boy. “Nobody cares about your recipes, or your soup kitchen.” The other kids snorted and nodded. Cinder Eddie took his lunch tray and the recipe card and moved out of line, heading to his table. One of the bullies stuck out his foot and Cinder Eddie tripped. He ended up flat on his face, his lunch splattered all over the floor and his clothes. Laughter erupted from the group of bullies in the lunch line.
That evening, Cinder Eddie walked to the soup kitchen. He was excited about trying out the lunch lady’s new recipe, although he still could not forget about how cruel those kids at school had been. As soon as he stepped through the door, Jack, the soup kitchen’s manager, tossed Cinder Eddie an apron and asked, “What’s on the tonight’s menu?” After taking a closer look at Cinder Eddie, Jack asked, “What happened to you today? You look like one of your delicious recipes ended up all over your clothes!”
“Those bullies at school tripped me and my lunch landed everywhere, “ answered Cinder Eddie.
“Those boys do not know how you great you are. They should try to get to know you and your food.,” Jack replied. “One day they will be sorry that they were ever mean to you.”
Cinder Eddie headed back to the kitchen to start making the new recipe. All of his worries dissipated as he began to gather the ingredients for the casserole.
As Cinder Eddie finished cutting up the carrots, a commercial on the radio caught his attention. “Do you like to cook? “Do you think you have what it takes to be winner of the annual best recipe contest? If so, enter the annual Best Recipe Contest, which will be held this Saturday at the Holey Cow restaurant on West 5th Street, across from the soup kitchen. The top three finalists will fly to New York City to compete in the National Competition.
Cinder Eddie’s heart started beating very fast. Jack began approaching Cinder Eddie “Did you hear that commercial, you should enter that contest. Everyone here loves your food. You’ve whipped up some delicious original recipes. I know that you can win!”
On the morning of the cooking competition, Cinder Eddie carefully loaded all of the ingredients and equipment he needed into his wagon. He had decided to make his favorite recipe - cheese souffle. It was delicious, and required skill to make well. Cinder Eddie tucked the recipe card into his jacket pocket and headed out the door.
Cinder Eddie turned the corner and could see the Holey Cow restaurant on the next block. Unfortunately, he also saw the bullies from school. Seeing Cinder Eddie, the bullies moved toward him, and soon surrounded Eddie and his wagon.
“Where do you think you’re going, Baker Boy?” sneered the largest bully.
“To the baking contest,” replied Cinder Eddie, pointing toward Holey Cow. “Excuse me, please.”
“Not so fast,” said the big bully. “First we need to inspect your ingredients, right, boys?” he said, turning to the rest of the group.
“Yeah,” they answered. “Let’s inspect the ingredients!” One bully grabbed the eggs, and threw them, one by one, onto the sidewalk. The other bullies were dumping out and throwing all of Cinder Eddie’s ingredients and his cooking equipment - pots, pans, measuring spoons were scattered up and down the street. Finally, the large bully took the flour and poured it over poor Cinder Eddie’s head. “Inspection complete,” he announced with a sneer. The bullies walked away, leaving Cinder Eddie standing there next to his now-empty wagon.
Cinder Eddie looked down the street toward Holey Cow, where television trucks and camera crews had lined up to film the competition. There was no way Cinder Eddie could compete now. His ingredients were gone, his equipment was strewn everywhere, and he was covered in flour. Slowly, Cinder Eddie wiped the flour out of his eyes and began to collect his equipment.
“Why the long face, pal?” boomed a deep voice.
Cinder Eddie spun around. His jaw dropped. “Who are you?” he asked.
“Your fairy godbrother, at your service.” The fairy hovered just above the sidewalk. He was small - about the size of a robin, had wings, dark, a bushy brown mustache and wore a chef’s uniform. In his hand, instead of a wand, he held a small spatula.
“Fairy Godbrother?” repeated Cinder Eddie.
“Yup. Looks like you could use a little help getting to the cooking competition, my friend.” The fairy godbrother flicked his wrist, waved his whisk and whistled a little tune. Quick as a wink, Cinder Eddie was transformed. The flour that had covered him from head to toe wa gone, and Eddie was dressed in a spotless chef’s uniform, complete with a tall, white hat. The wagon was filled with gleaming utensils, and brimming with fresh ingredients. Cinder Eddie stood wide-eyed and gaping.
“Don’t just stand there - get moving!” boomed the fairy godbrother. “You have a cooking competition to win!” He hustled Cinder Eddie toward the Holey Cow restaurant.
Cinder Eddie looked back over his shoulder. “Thanks!” he called. “Thanks for everything, Fairy Godbrother!”
The fairy godbrother smiled, waved his whisk and disappeared with a faint pop.
Cinder Eddie came in first place at the local cooking competition. He was flown to New York City where he won the national contest as well. Cinder Eddie became a world famous chef, with his own show on the Cooking Channel, and a line of gourmet ingredients sold in every grocery store. But he never forgot his friends at the soup kitchen, where he still volunteered each week. And Cinder Eddie had a new group of volunteers to help him with his work - the boys who had, once upon a time, bullied him. They realized how wrong they had been, and worked to make up for all of their past bad behavior. Everyone lived happily ever after.