The Runaway Rice Cake

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The Runaway Rice Cake

Chinese New Year's Eve and the Chang family is following the hallowed traditions to honor the Emperor of Heaven. It's time to make the rice cake but since the drought last fall, they only have enough flour to make one cake. Impatiently they wait for the cake to steam and when Mama finally takes the lid off, they are greatly surprised to see their one and only rice cake come alive and hop down out of the pan. Off it rolls through the barnyard and down past the marketplace. It was moving so fast no one could catch it until it runs into an old woman and Momma Chang is able to corral it. At last they have their delicious rice cake to eat, but wait. The old woman is so hungry and has not eaten for days. Perhaps the right thing is to share it with her. To their surprise the Grandmother gobbles the cake up. A bit embarrassed she apologies and the Changs assure her all is well and home they go to cook up a bit of rice for their own celebrations. This is a magical tale about the power of generosity, sharing and compassion for others. Good things come to those who see beyond their own hungry tummies. Recipes follow. Ages 5-9 40 pages

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