“Now for the waffles, Sara,” said Pirlaps; and Avrillia stooped and kissed her and said, “Come, Sara, and see what I can cook!”
Sara thought the notion of Avrillia’s cooking must be an odd and pretty fancy, but she skipped back with them to their little house, holding a hand of each. Through the windows she could see the fairy lights gleaming, for it was growing late and cold. They led her again down into the little shining, warm kitchen, where the lights from the glowing stove danced upon the silver bowls, and the air was full of delicious, spicy smells.
“Lie down, Yassuh, and go to sleep,” cried Avrillia; and so saying she took down her kitchen-apron from the gold-headed pin where it hung and began to flit about the cook-table—measuring out snow-sugar and breaking butterfly eggs into her shining cups and bowls. Then she got out the silver waffle-irons (Sara wanted them for her toy stove) and buttered them, and put them on the stove to heat while she beat up the batter.
Meantime, Sara helped Pirlaps to set a dainty little round table (not at all like a multiplication table) with pink shell dishes, and put on a jar of honeysuckle honey and a pat of buttercup butter. Then Avrillia baked the waffles and they sat down to eat.
Avrillia had hardly taken the first mouthful when she cried, “I forgot the children!” and sprang up and flitted to the door.
As she opened the door Sara heard faint little cries and tinkling laughter, drifting back from the hill where the children still played and frolicked in the snow. Presently Avrillia shut the door and came back to her place at the table.
“Bless their hearts!” she said, smiling, “I think I’ll just let them stay out and play all night—they’re always begging me to let them. And they’re having such a good time I can’t bear to vanish them. They won’t bother us,” she added, daintily pouring honeysuckle syrup on her waffle.
The waffles were so tiny and delicious that, every time she had swallowed one, Sara almost thought she had dreamed it.
“I didn’t know you could cook, Avrillia,” she said, shyly and admiringly.
Avrillia looked pleased. “Oh, anybody can cook!” she said, lightly. Sara understood from her tone that not everybody could write poems on rose-leaves.
“We do this every year, Sara,” said Pirlaps, “the first time it snows. It’s our favorite philanthropy. It’s a big undertaking, and rather too much of a strain for Avrillia, but we can’t make up our minds to give it up.”
“And then, when it’s all over,” continued Avrillia, “I make waffles (aren’t they good, Sara?) and we eat down here in the kitchen, and relax, and have a lovely, cozy time. And it makes it doubly pleasant when we have some congenial person to help us celebrate—like you, Sara.”
Sara’s little heart swelled with love and pride. Her eyes traveled once more over the shining little table, and the friendly faces of Pirlaps and Avrillia, and the glowing little kitchen, and out through the little window, where the fog-bushes were making long blue shadows, and the fairy lights danced on the silver snow.