With apologies to the Beatles, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and the state of Vermont.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chapter Twenty-Six: Cat Gets Religion

"Oh no!" Nancy cried.  "You just can't give up on the cupcakes."

Cat just looked at her.  "I can.  I don't want to bake cupcakes, I don't want to eat cupcakes, I don't want to sell cupcakes.  I don't want to even see cupcakes. They're full of sugar and you know they're bad for you."

"But they sell so well," Nancy said.

"Well, have Barbara make them.  I've made my last cupcake.  I'm going to see if I can help out with the produce.  At least that's real food."

"What's gotten into you?"

"I told you," Cat said.  "I started thinking about it.  Then I started reading about it.  All that sugar is terrible for you.  I've been hurting people with all those cupcakes."

"I should never have let you go to that bookstore.  You haven't been the same since that organic food woman started talking to you."

"I thought about what she said.  She's right.  And that's all I have to say."

Cat turned and walked away leaving Nancy staring at the pots and pans in the kitchen.

A few minutes later, Barbara walked in.  "What's with Cat?" she asked.

"Do you know how to bake cupcakes?"

"Cat really won't make any more?"

"Cat really won't make any more."  Nancy was trying to keep calm.  "If you don't know how to bake cupcakes, I'm afraid that we're going to have to stop selling them."

"I'm sorry," Barbara said.  "I was never even able to bake stuff in those Super-Simple Kiddie Ovens.  I can barely boil water.  But I'm going to really miss those cupcakes.  They practically sold themselves."

"Well, we better find someone else around here who can bake," Nancy said.  "I'm not going to do all the baking here myself."

Fortunately, it turned out that Darren liked baking.  "I would have helped you bake sooner," he said to Nancy, "but you and Cat were so good at it.  I was intimidated."

"Can you make cupcakes?"  Nancy asked.

"I can try," Darren said.

He made several batches of cupcakes and Nancy tried them all.  They were pretty good, but they weren't as good as Cat's cupcakes.

Nancy sighed.  "They'll do," she said.  "Now we better get baking.  We're just about sold out of everything at the bake stand."


Cat talked with Dan and Sal.  It was a long discussion and Sal and Dan spent a lot of the time looking at each other.  They weren't happy but Cat was adamant.

"Okay," Dan said finally.  "You can help us with the produce."

After Cat left, Dan went to find Luna.

"I've heard," Luna said.  "I've never seen Nancy so distraught.  But Cat has the right not to make any more cupcakes.  I don't want this to be a community where people are forced to do anything.  I mean, we got to work to support ourselves, but the point of having all these different kinds of work is that mostly we get to choose."

"But I thought that Cat already chose to make cupcakes."

"People also get to change their minds."

It took quite a bit of adjusting but things at the commune slowly settled down.  There was definitely a little more tension around the farm, but mostly folks got used to the changes.

Cat was fairly helpful in the produce stand (sometimes it took both her and Sal to pull Dan out of a pile of vegetables) and with all the greens coming in from the EcoGreenHouse, and the long lines to get fresh greens in winter, Sal and Dan were grateful for the help.

Darren's cupcakes didn't sell as well as Cat's had but they sold, and soon he and Nancy and Barbara were a  well working team at the bake stand.

And, although conversations between Cat and Nancy were difficult for a while, they continued talking with each other, although less than they had.  They both acknowledged that they liked one another, even if they were also frustrated with one another.

And then there was the awkward moment at the produce stand when a customer there was flipping through the cookbook.

After she looked at a cupcake recipe, she turned to Cat.  "Say, aren't you the one who used to make all the cupcakes?  Why don't you make them anymore?"

Cat shrugged.  "I'm moving on."

"You want me to weigh those greens for you?" Sal asked the customer before she had a chance to say anything more.

"Thank you for not preaching to her," Sal said after the woman left.

"I don't want to make things worse for anyone here," Cat said.  "I just think that we should be focusing on selling real food and not sugar fueled junk."

There was an uneasy pause before Cat said, "Sorry.  I'll try not to rant."

"Thank you," Sal said.

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