Disclaimer: I don't own Into the Woods. Or any of the Brothers Grimm's works. Or the Child Ballad "May Colven" (you'll see what I mean later on). Or basically anything else in this fic besides the Baker's Wife's family, and the Baker's, minus the Mysterious Man, and even them I don't entirely own, because they are based off of existing characters. In fact, the only people in this story that I completely own are the Baker's Wife's siblings. If even.
Author's note: I apologize for the hiatus in Mirror and Rose, and regret to inform you that it could be quite a while before I update STILL- my ideas are literally flowing everywhere but the next chapter-, but eventually, I promise you all, I WILL update! In the meanwhile, however, I have decided to focus on telling my take on different parts of the untold Into the Woods story, i.e. that four-part oneshot series I've been jabbering on and on about for the past three years about the Mysterious Man and the Witch and the Baker's Mother; the Narrator's story, and this, my take on the life of the Baker's Wife. I hope you all like reading it as much as I have liked writing it.
I've listed this as being slight AU in the summary, just to be on the safe side, but I'm really not sure that entirely applies to this particular fanfic, aside from the fact that, as in Mirror and Rose, the Baker's child is female (sorry if that pushes buttons, but I've fallen in love with Cordelia "Beauty" At-Woods of Mirror and Rose fame. Plus, with the way the guys act in this play… we get one more male character in here, and I fear for the future of the Woods.). The only real AU besides that is in that the Mysterious Man's wife doesn't die… at least not right off the bat. You'll see later on. (I dunno, with all due respect to the Amazing James Lapine, that particular line strikes a bit of a chord with me. I mean, having your baby taken away isn't realistically, by itself, enough to kill you. Sure, you'd feel like dying. Sure, you'd be distraught. You might even lose your marbles. But I don't think you'd just up and die on the spot.)But there is no established canon as to who the Baker and his wife's families are, besides the fact that the Baker's father is the Mysterious Man, or as to who raised the Baker. For all we know, the Baker's Wife could have come from a big family where she was the oldest sibling and the Mysterious Man could have had an older brother and the Baker could have been the son of Rose Red. Nowhere in the play does it say that wasn't the case!
I know that the life and times of the Baker's Wife is a VERY POPULAR topic in the Into the Woods fandom, but I guarantee that you've NEVER seen anything like this before! Enjoy as we begin… Beans, Justified!
Prologue: The Woman who No Longer Wished
Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom, many years before a fair maiden would go to the king's festival, a sad young lad would go to sell his cow, or a baker and his wife would go into the woods to find a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold; there lived a childless Shoemaker and his Wife. They lived modestly in the center of a small village near the outskirts of the woods in a small, two-story cottage that resembled a gigantic shoe, with a smaller shed in the backyard and a rather large shack where the shoemaker practiced his trade.
This Shoemaker was an average man, nothing incredibly special. He lived like any other man, drank at the tavern with his fellow villagers and lolled around his house, much to the annoyance of his wife. He was rather a lazy man, only doing the bare minimum of work required to get by, and as a result, food was often scarce in his house and his bar tabs often went unpaid. He was famous for skiving off school as a boy and for skiving off church as a man. He swore, he fought, and he believed in the wildest tales told around the town; if there was an angry mob out to hunt a witch or track down a monster, you would surely find him somewhere in the crowd, brandishing his hammer. Yet at the same time, he was known for trying to appease the "little people" living under the floorboards in his workshop. He was altogether rather more of an overgrown boy than a man, and not one to take life very seriously.
His wife was not exactly well-matched for him; in fact, the entire village agreed that each had chosen the other out of desperation. There was simply no other explanation why two people who were so unfit for each other would have married. The Shoemaker's Wife would have been quite pretty if she had only smiled more. She had learned long ago, however, that frivolity counted for little in this life. Years of hardship and poverty since marriage had taken their toll on her, and she had become bitter and austere, the one soft place in her heart being reserved for birds that flew outside the windows of her cottage. She could almost be called puritanical, in fact, were it not for the small detail that she drank. Not much was known about the history of the Shoemaker's Wife- it was known that she had come from a small village in the next kingdom where she was the only daughter of the village innkeeper, and that the Shoemaker had brought her home all of a sudden when he returned from the Spring Festival in her village, but nobody knew why they married so suddenly. Everyone knew, however, that their marriage was not the most cordial in the village. Her husband was never home, preferring instead to keep to his workshop almost exclusively- sometimes even sleeping and taking his meals there rather than returning to his house; and the people blamed this on the fact that she was an utter shrew. It was said in the kingdom where she once lived that she had once had a horrible experience with a magical creature; no one knew what and she would take that secret to the grave, but whatever it was, it had made her duty-obsessed as a result. She strove to be a model housewife and to keep money in the till despite her husband's tendencies; she ran a tight ship and looked down on anyone who did not.
With such conflicting personalities, then, it could easily be understood why their marriage was in such turmoil. It seemed that every day, the Shoemaker and his Wife were loudly arguing about something. The entire tavern heard endlessly from the Shoemaker's drunken rants just what a controlling hussy his wife was. The entire sewing circle heard endlessly from the Shoemaker's Wife's irritated fuming just what a lazy ass her husband was. To all who knew them, to say nothing of the couple themselves, it seemed a miracle would be needed to make peace in the household.
When the Shoemaker's Wife finally became pregnant, therefore, she was relieved. Finally, something, someone good out of this horribly-mistaken marriage of convenience. Having a baby would be the ultimate fulfillment of her marital obligations, or so she was raised to believe. She would have begun to really serve her purpose, and the family name would be continued for another generation. This child would also provide the long- necessary kick in the trousers to her spouse. Her husband would take his job more seriously and pull his load around the house more to help prepare for the impending child and in nine months, she would give birth to a beautiful baby boy. And it would be a boy. The Shoemaker's Wife needed it to be a boy. The boy would be the answer to all the couple's problems. His mother would teach him the benefits of hard work and of keeping one's head out of the clouds and not coddle him like other mothers and spoil him for life, and as soon as he was old enough, he would start working in the shop with his father. This boy, unlike his father, would not grow up to be a drunk, nor a lazy ass. His mother would make damn sure of that. No, her son would be industrious and temperent, and most importantly, grounded in reality. He wouldn't chase fanciful adventures, God no- he would know his place, keep to it, and fulfill his station in life well.
With the ultimate solution safe in her womb, or so she thought, the Shoemaker's Wife began preparations for her new little family. For the first time since The Incident, whatever it was, she eventually allowed herself to feel calm and relatively happy in her own capabilities and the fact that the answer to her prayers was on the way; and she even allowed herself to relax in her judgmental nature for a time and stop questioning the ways of others and comparing herself to them.
However, those feelings were not to last long…
When the Shoemaker's Wife was nearing the end of her second trimester of pregnancy, she saw a new family move into the village. A trip around the village to make some of her husband's late shoe deliveries showed her that the family consisted of an older woman, two men around her age, two women not much younger than her, and a young child, and that they had taken up residence in a long-abandoned house on the outskirts of The Woods. The scent of baking bread that emanated constantly from the house told her that they had set up shop as bakers. The Shoemaker's Wife soon learned from her husband on one of the rare occasions when he came into the house for dinner that the new baker who had bought the house was actually a previous resident of the village, a Frexspar At-Woods, who had been the village baker in the past, along with his brother, before both had left to marry a pair of twin sisters from somewhere deep in the Woods, a few miles from a far-off village. Apparently, with the birth of a son, Frexpsar and his wife had decided that it was high time they found a place for their growing family to live, and had moved back into the village of Frexspar's birth, taking the extended family along to help him set up his new lodgings, an assistance made especially necessary by the fact that his lovely young wife, Rosamond, was once again with child.
Curious about this new family, as well as tempted to see how well their house was run, the Shoemaker's Wife decided she should meet them. Her opportunity arose a few weeks after they moved in, when the new Baker stopped by her husband's shop and asked for his boots to be repaired. Hounding her husband to fix them, she took it upon herself to bring them by the bakery when picking up the week's bread. While doing so, she welcomed them to the village and made the acquaintance of the whole family: Frexspar At-Woods, his wife Rosamond, his older brother Lars, his sister-in law, and his mother-in-law. Every week, she returned to the shop to buy the week's bread, and every once in a while she would pay a call on them, eager to observe more. In this way, she began to develop a sense of the type of people her neighbors were.
Frexspar seemed like a sensible enough person, focused on his work and without much trouble with alcohol. Not to mention, he was kind and faithful to his beautiful golden-haired wife and was as proud as anything of his small son, a little boy one year of age and the spitting image of his father named Chip. However, there was such a thing as excessive devotion, and Frexspar seemed concerned to a fault with his wife's happiness.
Lars seemed all right as well, for all the little the Shoemaker's Wife saw of him. For the most part, he stayed around the shop, doing whatever his brother didn't have time to do and every once in a while, stopping to chat with his wife. He seemed much the same sort of man as his brother, all in all, and the Shoemaker's Wife couldn't really complain much.
Lars's wife, Blanchette, the older twin, was without a doubt one of the best housewives the Shoemaker's Wife had ever met; in fact, for one of the few times in her entire life, she found nothing to complain about. She never spoke out of turn, never showed much by way of temper; just continued to make the house shine and to wallow in her love for her husband. The Shoemaker's Wife actually found herself a bit jealous of this girl; Blanchette did so much around the house, easily as much as the Shoemaker's Wife did, and she received all the respect that her counterpart was denied– not to mention, she made the most delicious tea the Shoemaker's Wife had ever tasted. She, unlike her sister, had no baby and seemed just the slightest bit wistful about this, but that could be easily fixed. She could just go to the midwife at any time and buy herself a fertility potion to fix the problem.
The twins' mother, Liga, also seemed nice enough, fairly quiet and patient. For the most part, she tended to stay out of things, doing mending by the fireplace, or washing the family's clothes in the river in the woods. It was obvious that she was devoted to her daughters and grandson, and them to her; not a minute went by when Liga didn't call out some kind words to one of the twins or babble some endearment at the baby, and if the recipient of her words didn't respond, the only possible explanation would be that they hadn't heard her. Liga wore no wedding ring on her finger, and no mention was made of any late or absent husband or father, but the Shoemaker's Wife decided not to question her. It wasn't her place anyway.
Rosamond, however, was a silly creature; more of an overgrown child than a grown woman with a husband, a son, and another baby on the way. Other women kept their houses neatly and cooked good meals for their husbands every night and knew how to act their age like the mature housewives they were supposed to be - but not Rosamond At-Woods. From what the Shoemaker's Wife could see, for the most part she left that to her sister and spent most of her time running around in the yard with her baby son and feeding the wild animals that wandered into their yard and chasing butterflies and gathering flowers by the woods. The only housework the Shoemaker's Wife had ever heard of the woman doing was devotedly tending to her child, doing various forms of needlework, and on rare occasion, helping to bake the bread. Rosamond also seemed to have a way of molding her husband to her will like bread dough in her hands.
As weeks and months went by, the Shoemaker's Wife watched as the spoiled young Rosamond developed quite an unusual appetite for greens, greens, and nothing but greens. First it was parsley, then peppers, then cabbages, then celery, then asparagus, then watercress, then fiddleferns, then lettuce. Day after day, the Shoemaker's Wife stood by the window of her cottage, watching Frexspar At-Woods pass by on yet another trip to the market, off to cater to the every whim of his expectant bride, passing by again not long after weighed down with at least a full day's wages worth of whatever vegetable Rosamond had claimed the baby wanted. The Shoemaker's Wife felt nothing but contempt for Rosamond. She too, of course, was pregnant, and understood the way it felt to crave a certain type of food; there had been days where she had felt as if she would have killed for just a taste of salmon, or onion soup, or grapes, or buckwheat bread. However, she at least could control herself! If the food she craved at a given time was something that was cheap or readily available in her house, she ate it, but if not, she forced herself and the fetus to go without, and neither were the worse for wear. If she could reign herself in and not give in to her every temptation, why could this other woman not do the same? The final straw came when she heard through the grapevine that Rosamond was after rampion, but not just any rampion. Oh, God, no. The rampion that she wanted was the envy of the entire kingdom, with a flavor so rich, so delicious; you would swear that one bite could solve any issue or illness that could possibly befall a person. This rampion was also the most dangerous in the kingdom, because of where it was grown. The rampion grew in the garden of the house next door to the Baker and his family, wherein lived the infamous local Witch, a young- or so she'd heard, although some said that her youth was just a disguise- enchantress by the name of Giovanna. The Witch Giovanna had been one of the first people that the Shoemaker's Wife had learned about on her arrival in the village, and what she had learned had only cemented her resolve to stay away from her at all costs.
Apparently, Giovanna was not the only witch who had lived in their town; her mother had been living there since the village was founded, or even before, and had not appeared to have aged a day since then. The villagers had been out to burn the mother ever since she had attempted to commit treason on the royal family; years ago, when a miller had claimed his daughter could spin straw into gold and the king had decided to test that claim by locking her in a dungeon full of straw and threatening her with death if it wasn't spun into gold by morning, the Mother Witch had sent her familiar, a demon in the form of a dwarf, to spin the straw into gold in return for the daughter's necklace, presumably to be used for alchemical purposes. When the king repeated the test the next night, she sent her familiar back to trade his services for the girl's ring, which the townspeople assumed went to the same end. However, when the test was repeated a third night, the familiar demanded the miller's daughter's first child in return for his spinning the straw into gold. God alone knew what the Mother Witch had wanted with the baby- all of the villagers had assumed the worst when they found out about this. The miller's daughter had given in to the fear of losing her life and agreed to this horrible pact, was saved by the familiar, and was married to the king; but a year later, when a baby girl was born, the queen begged the Mother Witch's familiar to reconsider. He gave her an impossible task- she could keep her baby if she could guess his name. How the poor former miller's daughter guessed- she offered every name she had ever heard in her own kingdom, all sorts of foreign names, names from books and legends, even a few names she had made up herself and to no avail. All would have been lost had one of the guards not seen the familiar dancing around a fire in front of the witch's house one night, singing about how the queen would never guess that his name was Rumplestiltskin. The plan was foiled and the baby saved- said baby had since grown up to be a beautiful princess, married a prince from another kingdom, become queen in her own right, and had two young sons who she was now raising to be as charming as possible- but the villagers had wanted to burn the witch ever since. They had finally gotten their chance a handful of years before when the Mother Witch had transformed young Lars At-Woods into a black bear for trespassing on her property, proved by the fact that his scarf was left behind in her garden and on inspection, her spellbook was found to be opened to a chapter on animal transformations; the villagers had seized her, forced her to stand trial for all the spells and curses she had placed on the villagers, and burned her at the stake in the town square. As for the familiar, apparently Giovanna hadn't wanted it, because she expelled it from the house and it ran away into the woods. The Shoemaker's Wife had later found out while buying her bread that the familiar had died when Blanchette stabbed him, thereby releasing Lars from his curse.
After the Mother Witch had died, however, the entire village was looking for an excuse to execute Giovanna, who they had thought was only waiting in the wings to unleash horrors that would make her mother's pale in comparison. However, there was simply nothing that could be proved against the Witch. They had thought they had found a reason when Young Frexspar thought he was in love with her- surely she must have been bewitching him for some foul purpose, perhaps to turn him into her familiar or even a warlock in his own right. When word got out that the young baker had proposed to her, the entire village had become wary of him. Frexspar had suddenly found old friends rushing off whenever they saw him coming down the street, villagers boycotting his shop, and talk of witch burnings arising at the tavern. The village was perpetually on alert, and ready to burn the both of them at the slightest offense. Fearing for his life and reputation, Frexspar had abandoned Giovanna, but even then the villagers had been wary of him, and business at the bakery had been slim. It wasn't until the newly curse-broken Lars returned to town with his lovely wife and her twin sister, who Frexspar had immediately become infatuated with, that the townspeople finally relaxed. Frexspar had found a new love, a normal love, and Giovanna would be a thing of his past. She could no longer control him, it seemed, and so she could not hurt the villagers through her former lover. The villagers came back to the young Baker's side after that, but rumors about Giovanna continued to fly, rumors that said that she was out for vengeance.
Even without her past experience, whatever it was, the Shoemaker's Wife would have been fully convinced to stay away from the Witch Giovanna and her garden, and she reasoned that this time, Rosamond would not get her way, that nobody would go as far as all that, even for a pregnant woman. Even Frexspar At-Woods wouldn't give in to that demand!
What was her surprise when word reached her ears that eventually Rosamond had gotten her way again! Frexspar, after having the rampion he had brought home from the marketplace rejected, snuck into the Witch's garden and made off with her rampion. The Shoemaker's Wife couldn't believe it! How spoiled was this woman?! Furthermore, how crazy- or stupid- was Frexspar to break into the Witch's garden of all people's, especially considering his family's history with Giovanna's mother and the rumor that he was once infatuated with her?! By now, the Shoemaker's Wife's own child had been born healthy, and she herself was none the worse for wear- and she had never given in to her own ridiculous impulses. It was simply a matter of self-control, and despite what the childish Rosamond might have thought, self-control was something that could be mastered by anyone, even the village idiot!
At last, the big day came for the At-Woods family. It was almost impossible to miss, no matter where you were in the village. Frexspar At-Woods was a nervous wreck- the Shoemaker's Wife received a great deal of entertainment that day watching out her window as the nervous father rushed through the streets practically dragging the midwife back to his cottage; and then later watching as he himself was dragged through the streets by his brother in the direction of the tavern. As the sun was setting, the midwife passed the Shoemaker's cottage on her way back home. Rosamond had finally had her child, and finally, or so the Shoemaker's Wife thought, Mrs. At-Woods would stop acting as if she dangled the world on the end of a string now that she had another child to contend with.
No baby was ever brought to the church to be christened, however- news spread throughout the village that Rosamond At-Woods had given birth to a baby girl, but the baby had apparently died soon after she was born, at least, that was what most of the villagers believed. There were simply few other feasible explanations for it. When the midwife had left, Rosamond was holding a beautiful infant with hair as yellow as corn and discussing possible names with her husband; before midnight the baby was gone, Rosamond was in hysterics, and the rest of the family was visibly shaken.
Still, though, it was noted throughout the village that some things just didn't add up. There was no funeral for the child- it was assumed that Frexspar had taken the baby away to be buried in the cemetery under cover of dark to avoid upsetting Rosamond any more, but when the Village Minister was questioned about the matter, he told the townspeople that this was the first he'd heard of the At-Woodses' child being born, let alone disappearing. Furthermore, the crying of a baby had sometimes been heard coming from the house of the Witch Giovanna recently, which shocked the entire village. Nobody had known that Giovanna had been expecting, or could imagine who on Earth in his right mind would get her pregnant in the first place, witch that she was. Some said that the baby actually was Rosamond At- Woods's and the Witch had taken her, revenge for the stolen rampion no doubt, but nobody could prove that this was true; the Witch had cast a magic circle around her house that had made it impossible to get into at night of late, and nobody would dare venture onto her property in daylight, for fear of what she could do to them.
Whatever the real story was regarding the baby, though, it could not be denied that it wasn't long before the At-Woods family fell apart. Immediately after the disaster, Rosamond took indefinitely to her bed; if you passed the Bakers' cottage, you stood a good chance of hearing her screams, loud enough to wake the dead and filled to bursting with grief. A month after the tragedy, Frexspar At-Woods disappeared into thin air one night. Some swore that he was spirited away by the Witch, revenge for their past, no doubt. Others whispered he'd tired of his wife and left her, not wanting to be tied for life to a lunatic. Some villagers even had theories that were more far-fetched than that: Frexspar At-Woods might have gone into the Woods late at night for some reason and been spirited away by the ghost of the Headless Horseman, or perhaps he had drunk something he shouldn't have and would be asleep somewhere for many years to come. Whatever it was, though, it could not have been a suitable story for the boy- the Shoemakers Wife soon heard through the grapevine that the family planned to tell young Chip that his father had died in a baking accident when he was older. It had also been the last straw for the previously-doted-upon Rosamond- the poor woman went absolutely mad. Out of respect, the whole town said she "died" whenever the change in her was discussed, which was true as far as her senses went; it was obvious that the woman would never be the same again. She would always be heard ranting and raving about babies and rampion and a child-stealing witch, and she eventually had to be confined to her cottage indefinitely when she went outside one day and had a fit the moment she locked eyes on the house next door. Blanchette soon tired of her sister- it soon got so you couldn't pass the At-Woodses' house without hearing the formerly-quiet woman screaming at her twin- and the Shoemaker's Wife was barely beginning to show her pregnancy with her second child when she looked out her window one day and saw the cart carrying Lars and Blanchette back to the cottage they had previously called home. No one could say exactly what had happened to the family to destroy it so fast, but all agreed it would take nothing short of magical intervention to end their problem. The village only would have felt their conviction all the more strongly had they actually known the half of what had befallen the At-Woods family.
Oh, but that's another story, never mind. Anyway…
A couple of months before Rosamond At-Woods's disaster occurred and a week or two before the rampion was stolen from the Witch's garden, the Shoemaker's Wife was brought to bed of her own child. She could not have planned the timing better herself. Her water broke right on schedule; her husband had already escaped to the bar so he wouldn't be underfoot, and she was able to bribe a child passing the shop to run for the midwife with a coin. The midwife had arrived promptly, before the baby could progress any further, and within a couple of hours, the crying of a child was heard. The baby, a healthy child of average size with its father's brown eyes and its mother's red hair was bathed and bundled up in a blanket the Shoemaker's Wife had knitted months before and placed in her arms. Everything was exactly the way the mother had expected it to be, until the midwife spoke up.
"Congratulations, Mistress. You are the mother of a fine, healthy girl."
She paused. "What?" Maybe she had heard wrong. Childbirth had been very tiring, after all. She must have heard wrong, she must have-
"I said that the baby is a girl, Mistress. You have a healthy baby daughter."
The Shoemaker's Wife panicked, staring at the bundle in her arms. This wasn't supposed to happen. The baby was supposed to be a boy, a boy who could eventually pick up his father's slack before the family went bankrupt! A woman couldn't work in a shoemaker's shop, it was unheard of! Instead of a son who could bring in extra money around the house and learn his father's trade, she had ended up with a daughter, a daughter who would be nothing more than another mouth to feed and a nuisance, always getting underfoot. The girl could bring in money by doing piecework, she supposed, but it would be years before her stitchery became good enough to have the slightest chance of competing with that of the local women who had been sewing for money for years. The son she had expected would have been selling his shoes not very long after he had started in the shop, as her husband was the only shoemaker in this village.
Furthermore- and this thought chilled her to the bone- what if the baby girl grew up to be as thoughtless as she had once been? The Incident was already a few years in the past, and nobody, not even her husband, knew of it, but it was still as fresh in her mind as if it had happened only the day before. What pained her most about the memory of The Incident was that her own stupidity had been at least partly to blame for the mess she had landed herself in, a mess that had almost cost her her life. If she hadn't listened to that… as it was, she had been very lucky to escape with her life, and had learned the hard way to dream within reach, accept her station in life without complaint or unrealistic hopes for improvement, and focus on her duties with discipline and self-control. But what if the girl someday found herself in a similar situation and was not so lucky? The most important lesson the Shoemaker's Wife's life had ever taught her was that "you may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have." What if her new daughter couldn't take that lesson to heart? The Shoemaker's Wife, for all her practicalities and Puritanical tendencies, was still a mother. Although she had never let on, she had wanted a boy because men are usually less likely to be swayed by pretty words. They are also usually stronger and better able to defend themselves in a fight. A boy would have been less likely to fall into the trap his mother had barely evaded, whereas this girl could very well be doomed just because of what she was.
No matter. It was no use harping on the boy that she should have had; what was done was done. Sure, she was disappointed, but it wasn't the end. She had to focus now on the future, both where her financial situation and the chances of a repeat of history were concerned. She and her husband were still young enough; they would try again as soon as the Shoemaker's Wife was herself again, and eventually, the boy she needed would be born. In the meanwhile, she would raise her new daughter to be a dutiful housewife like herself. There would be no silliness like Mad Rosamond's for this girl, and neither would there be any disaster's like her own or that which she could sense would happen to Mrs. At-Woods. The Shoemaker's Wife just wouldn't give her daughter that option. If the girl grew up knowing what was expected of her and what she could realistically expect and being carefully hemmed in by those two things, she would be protected before disaster had the chance to strike. Her daughter wouldn't make her mother's mistakes, nor would she follow in her father's ridiculous footsteps. She would grow to be a mature woman with no unrealistic expectations or idiotic tendencies and would thrive for it. If that meant her existence had to be Spartan and mundane, well then so be it.
The baby was christened in the village church a week later, in front of a modest crowd of villagers. The parents were going to name the baby "Joseph" if it was a boy, after his father. The little girl was named "Joanna."
Author's Note: And the Baker's Wife is born. I made this first chapter in her mother's point of view as a way of showing what the neighbors might have thought of the Baker's Family's situation... what little they knew of it, as well as a means of introducing my headcanon.
Reviews are welcome! Flames will be used to make magic baked beans.