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Erik Chooses To Visit Ye Olde Cake & Candle
A well-maintained path led straight to Ye Olde Cake & Candle, a cozy-looking inn with a sign that creaked slightly in the breeze. Not surprisingly, the sign said, “Ye Olde Cake & Candle.”
Erik walked in. A man wearing a huge white apron over his equally huge stomach bustled up to him. “Welcome to Ye Olde Cake & Candle. What can I do for you this fine day?”
“Well, first, do you have some place I could feed and water my horse? We’ve been on a long journey,” Erik said.
Looking Erik over from head to toe, the man replied, “A long messy journey, by the looks of you. No, we have no place for your horse. You might as well bring him inside. That’s what most people do.”
“But the sign on the main road says you provide stabling!” Erik said.
“And indeed we do. We keep many things stable. Unmoving, you know. Firm. Steady. If you’ll check your dictionary -- I assume you travel with a dictionary? Everyone should, of course -- anyway, if you’ll check your dictionary you’ll find those listed among the definitions of stable.”
“Oh. Right,” said Erik. “But what about my horse? And we’re looking for another horse. A black horse.”
“You do go on a great deal about horses. I can’t help you there. No horses to see for miles around,” the man said, looking straight at Benton. “Not a sawhorse, a pommel horse, a...”
Erik sighed. “Well then, I guess I’ll sit down and have some refreshments. Your sign says you have cake?”
Clapping his hands together in joy (or something) the man said, “Indeed we do! We have cakes of mud, cakes of salt...”
“No chocolate cake? No red velvet cake? No spice cake with yummy caramel frosting?” Erik asked. “No birthday cake with candles?”
“Why would anyone want a cake with candles?” asked the man. “You’ll have to go back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, or forward in time to the Swiss in 1881, to get a cake with candles. Seems to me it would be a little too hot to handle, though. As for those other cakes, wouldn’t you like a nice cake of soap instead. You, er, look as though you could use one...”
Erik shook his head. “That’s not what I want at all. Well, soon I’ll need a cake of soap, but right now I want something to eat!”
“We have nothing like that here,” the man assured him.
“You have cakes, but not the sort you eat. You have stables, but not the kind you put horses in. You do have candles, right? Your sign says Cake & Candle?” Erik was grasping at straws, or at least candles, but surely something would start to make sense soon.
“Oh, if it’s candles you want, we have them in abundance!”
Erik smiled. Now they were getting somewhere. Where there were candles, there might just be birthday presents.
“We have you-can’t-hold-a-candle-to-it candles, we have candles-in-the-wind, we have jack-jump-over-the-candle-
sticks, everything you could possible wish for,” the man answered with a broad smile.
“Not quite,” Erik said, shaking his head. “What I wish for is my birthday present back, and a clue to where the black horse has gone.”
“There you go, talking about horses again. You’ll be getting quite hoarse with all your useless natter about horses. Oh well, there’s no time like the present to tell you I haven’t a clue,” the man said.
“I had sort of figured that out,” Erik said sadly, as he and Benton turned to leave.
“Well, Benton, I guess we might as well go back to the path to Mystery Mountain.”
Benton nodded, then shook his head. Erik wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but they really had no choice.
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