They followed the trail of crumbs like hungry birds and ate their way across the hall, over mountains of hardboiled eggs, minced-meat croquettes in tidy pyramids, and steaming rows of pot pies. By the oven the baker labored, back hunched protectively over an enormous tray of moon cookies.
The children are ravenous. They grab greedily at the cookies and eat the dark halves first. They’ve grown. Their shirts are too short. They yawn loudly. He can read the menu on their pale pot bellies.
At last, they curl up on soft pillows of cheese. As they sleep the baker seals the children behind a wall of cake. Yet it’s always the same; they awaken hungry, and free themselves from their edible prison. The food is gone, so there’s nothing to do but smile as they peck out his sweet red heart.