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U3A Writing: The Christmas Surprise

The fruit cake fan has a Christmas surprise for his wife, as Elwyn Frankelís story reveals.

One fine, sunny, morning, Frank and Kathleen had just finished breakfast. They were chatting about the affairs of the day, and Kathleen was busily preparing the ingredients for the Christmas cake.

As usual Frank asked, "what would you like for Christmas this year my dear."

"Do you have to ask that every year," said Kathleen "you know I'm happy with whatever you get me."

"Very well," said Frank, "this year I will make it a complete surprise."

As she went on with her cake making, Kathleen pondered on her usual December problem. This was not a new problem; she had been married to this one for 40 years.

In all that time, she had never been able to keep a Christmas cake until the festive season. Frank had a nose like a bloodhound for fruit cake. No matter how well she hid it, he always managed to find her cake. Slice by slice it disappeared.
One morning, as Kathleen was doing some dusting in her bedroom, she had what she thought was a brilliant idea. I will put my cake in the hat box under my Sunday best hat. Frank will never think to look there.

Each week she checked the hat box to make sure all was well. She even wore her second best hat to church, just in case he smelled a rat, or rather a cake.

As the weeks went by, Kathleen sometimes wondered what an earth Frank's surprise for her could possibly be.

Finally it was Christmas eve, and during the busy day, Kathleen felt confident, she only had to pop on the icing to produce a lovely cake for their guests.

Humming happily to herself Kathleen took the hatbox down from the shelf. Confound it. He'd done it again. All that was left of her scrumptious cake was the shell. And to add insult to injury, the culprit had even left his pocket knife which he had used to hollow out the centre of the cake.

What a Christmas surprise.

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