It was too late when I realized that I had used salt instead of sugar. I remembered in vain my last hasty sprinkling from one of the jars on the kitchen counter. I looked at my cake in alarm that was already half-baked.
My sister’s in laws were coming to have tea with us that day. We had been preparing since morning. Most of the things were ready. Mother had decided that the cake would be bought in the evening from the bakery otherwise it would go stale. But alas! When father went to get the cake, the bakery had already closed down due to some unfavourable conditions in the area. He thought of going to some other bakery but when he read the gas meter, it read empty.
So, I had been given the responsibility to bake the cake as I did most of the baking of the house.
I looked at my lovely butterfly cake in despair. What could be done now??!!! Mother was busy in other chores while the others were busy cleaning the area where the guests were to sit.
I couldn’t think of what to do. There was neither enough flour to bake another cake nor time. I could see no light at the end of the tunnel. I hoped against hope that the guests would cancel their plan or something but then, suddenly, the door bell rang and the guests were announced. I was forced to leave everything in God’s hands and just supplicate.
I received the guests with a faint smile and guided them to the drawing room. Mother was putting the last touches to the dining table. I relieved her from her work and sent her to sit with the guests. I looked at my cake which mother had put in the centre of the table without even noticing anything! I thought that I shouldn’t bother mother right now by telling of the mishap. I just hoped that God would send some help to save me from embarrassment.
Suddenly the door bell rang and my eldest cousin came to pay us an unexpected visit along with his dainty wife, and he had brought along, a CAKE!!
I could have sung with joy! I quickly removed my cake from the table and placed the one that had just arrived. The change of cakes also went unnoticed.
Soon the guests were seated and were enjoying the delicious items mother had so carefully cooked. My sister’s husband-to-be praised the cake and mother told him that it was me who had baked it.
A thought flashed through my mind and I narrated to them the whole event humbly that had occurred including the eleventh hour supplications.
Everyone laughed till tears ran down their cheeks. The guests teased me and mother declared that she was never going to hand me over any important task again!
I was happy that no one scolded me and that everything went well. I thanked God for sending the unexpected guests and vowed never to do anything again hastily without checking and rechecking everything.