Lubans’ Adaptation of “Wonderbread”

Posted by jlubans on May 18, 2022

A classic Latvian folk tale is entitled Brīnumskapis* (magic cabinet) but the English translation makes no mention of a cabinet or wardrobe.
Instead of “magic wardrobe”, the English translation calls it “Wonderbread”.
Any American will tell you that is the name of a highly popular spongy, sliced, white bread found in every grocery store.
I have not had a slice in 60 years, but at one time thought it was the best bread imaginable.
My tastes have changed!
As for magic, the tale does depict a loaf of bread spinning over hill and dale with a small boy in hot pursuit.
In brief the story is about a boy, in his 6th year, declining to walk.
His hapless father is beside himself and begins to haul the kid around in a wheeled cart.
A neighbor farmer (Latvian farmers all have good sense) sees what is happening and invites the father and the boy into his kitchen.
He tells the petulant young boy - still in the cart - that the beautiful round loaf of bread on the table is his to eat.
He tells the father, the loaf is not for you; you must not touch it.
So, the youngster wants the bread and thrusts out his hands, demanding it.
The farmer says, “Get it yourself!”
A number of tantrums by the hungry 6-year old gets the same result.
The father remains silent.
Then, remarkably, one of the boy’s legs appears over the side of the cart.
Then, the other leg follows.
Soon the little boy is at the table eagerly reaching for the bread.
But, the bread jumps up and rolls off the table and out the open door. The little boy is disappointed but sets off in earnest pursuit. No falling down and kicking his heels. He wants that bread and aims to get it!
Alas, after a merry chase through fields and forests, the bread rolls into a river and disappears. The boy is sad.
Don’t cry, all is well. The farmer puts food on the table and they all enjoy a meal together with a pitcher of amber ale.
From that day on the little boy behaves responsibly and becomes a helpmate to his father.
How many of us have been helped by not getting what we wanted? Ah, adversity! Sweet, someone said, are thy uses.

*Source: Latvian folk tales (in English). Told by Astrida B Stahnke. Riga, Latvia: Star ABC 1998
133 pages
ISBN: 9984047571


And, don’t forget Lubans' book on democratic workplaces, Leading from the Middle

© Copyright text by John Lubans 2022

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Posted by jlubans on May 21, 2022  •  19:30:17


Posted by Rasma Mozere on May 22, 2022  •  22:30:31

John is remarkably good at presenting a home truth in a way that it serves as an eye-opener onto something surprisingly new and so far unexperienced.
Thank you, John, for that closing thought in your post. One needs to have it close at hand on daily basis!

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