{I wrote this a while back, and just got around to posting it here}

Seed of grass, tears of sky, marrow of earth. Feed the elves, don't forget to feed the elves--they're in the coffee mug, over there in the corner. Double, bubble, toil, but oh what goodness when we cook the elves . . . just not yet, not yet. They still have work to do. Patience. Combine water, salt, and flour until you have a loose batter, then add the elves. More flour. Now it's time to knead.

Roll and press, roll and press. Standing at a counter like all the wheat-magicians before me, waving my hands in the same incantation. Stretch and fold, press. Rocking a little on my heels, I sway, entranced by the bread. Press. Dust. Roll, scrape, stretch, fold, press. Repeat. And repeat again.

Finally, it is time for the yeast-elves to work. I sit down, and wait for my minions to do their best. Ever so slowly, they push at the mixture, building it from the inside, until I decide that it has risen high enough. This isn't Dubai, you know. It's more like Babel. I push the towering structure down, dividing and remaking the masses into two -- this loaf is sheep, that one is goats. The top is stretched tight, and it'll only get worse if I don't make a cut now. So I do. A giant cross on the top of each loaf, to ward off evil.

Yes, to ward off evil. What do you think I am, a witch?

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