Every morning, seven-year-old Debbie Davis woke up ready for pancakes. Not omelets or waffles or oatmeal or blueberry muffins, definitely not toast, but pancakes. According to Debbie, the secret to a good day was making a happy face on her pancakes.
“I’m hungry!” she said, pouring sugary maple syrup over a hot stack of cakes.
No matter what the day would bring, Debbie always started it with a smile. That way Debbie could keep smiling throughout the day, even if it was a hard one.
“Smile as big as you can!” she said, deciding how to construct a face on her cakes.
There were various ways to make faces on pancakes, so it never got boring. Bananas, kiwi, oranges, blueberries, and of course chocolate chips, could be used for eyes. Strawberries were best used for the nose, along with cherries, pears, or a clump of raspberries.
Sometimes a patch of butter could be used as a nose, although it would eventually melt. Whip cream with a bunch of chocolate chips and sauce made a wonderful smile. On some occasions, Debbie used sunny side up eggs as eyes on her pancakes.
“Googly eyes taste so good!” she said, arranging the egg eyes. “Now for some bacon!”
“Bacon might make a beautiful smile, but it’s not so good for you, Debbie,” her father said.
“It’s crunchy and salty, not as sweet as the other fruits and candies,” she said, eating it anyhow.
Depending on the nearest holiday, Debbie might use peppermints or candy corns. During the Fourth of July, she made a red, white, and blue grin from ear-to-pancake-ear. If Debbie was running late, and she could not make a pancake smile, it was never a good day. She would always come home from school crying or upset about something.
“I’m never going back to school again! I hate learning a bunch of nonsense,” Debbie said. So, Mrs. Davis knew that Debbie had to have her pancakes, or the day would just not go right. Whenever Debbie had friends that were sad at school, she told them about pancakes.
“Sssh! It’s our secret. It works every single time,” she told friends, knowing they would share the magic. If her friends didn’t believe her, she invited them over for dinner pancakes.
On those days, Debbie was extra happy, because she got to make two smiles in one day.
“Hooray! I don’t have to eat the leftover lasagna again,” Debbie said, hugging her friends. Vegetables of all shapes and sizes could be used with stacked whole-wheat pancakes. Broccoli, squash, peppers, and carrots made large and glowing eyes. Aside from a sliced hot dog, a big piece of sausage made the best dinner pancake nose. Green beans, spinach, or peas could carefully create a very large smile.
“I can’t believe the magic of Happy Face Pancakes!” her friends said, asking for seconds. Debbie’s friends were amazed how much better they felt after breakfast or dinner pancakes.
“Even though I told you it was a secret, make sure you tell a friend who seems sad or blue,” she told everyone. “You’ll only end up smiling twice as big as you would have if you kept the magic to yourself.”
Copyright 2015 Jennifer Waters