This story was originally intended as a grammar exercise 
(syntax, idioms and other phrases idiosyncratic to English); 
but as I was writing, my subconscious mind took over 
and concocted the following story. EM

Last Thursday an ugly, drooling old man met a lovely twenty-eigtht-year-old woman 
sitting on a bench near a pond with ducks and fish in a park.  
   While she was staring emptily into the air as if withdrawn in thought,
he was trying to feed the ducks great lumps of bread; but he was so clumsy at throwing them 
that he was constantly hitting the young woman in the face.  
- “Would you us like to change seats,” she asked quietly 
when she had been all covered in bread.  
At first the old man didn’t answer, but when he saw tears in her eyes 
he apologized to her for the inconvenience he had caused her.
- “I don’t mind your throwing bread at me,” she said, 
“it’s just that neither the ducks nor the fish are getting any of it.”
- “Oh,” said the man, “but I’m not feeding the fish. I’m carrying out an experiment.”  
- “How’s that?” the woman asked, still somewhat absent-minded.  
The old man sat silent for a while, then he said, “A friend of mine is a baker, 
and he wants to know how much bread he needs to make to get himself a wife.”  
A growing interest was showing in the eyes of the young woman, 
and with a puzzled look she asked, “What kind of weirdo is that friend of yours? 
Asking you to cover people up in bread!”
- “I don’t know,” he muttered, spit showing between his yellow teeth, 
“but he also said that although he has a lot of dough, he’s still no bread-winner.”  
With his last remark something seemed to dawn upon the young woman, 
and getting to her feet she said in a shaky voice, 
- “Tell your baker friend that I’m no sitting duck he can call at his convenience. 
He can make a baker’s dozen for all I care, but if he wants to take this cake 
he must cut it in romance as well as business. 
And for you to take part in this ‘experiment’ is adding insult to injury.” 
   With this she hurried away from the bench, lumps of bread flying off her dress.  
Watching her leave the old man leaned back and sighed, 
- “There must be better ways of finding a wife.  If only I knew how.”

Erik Moldrup, September 2006