One hot summer day when Mother was at work, Barbara went to Great Aunt Kates and took her best imaginary friend, Mrs. Peabody. Most of the day Great Aunt Kate was in and out of her garden so Barbara and Mrs. Peabody busied themselves with whatever they could find.
The two friends went outside and tried to find a way to stay cool. Barbara found some fallen leaves in a shady area and started to make a pile of them. She decided to bake them and Mrs. Peabody wanted to help. But, what could you bake out of leaves? Barbara and Mrs. Peabody thought about it as they collected a few more.
Finally, Mrs. Peabody came up with a brilliant idea. They would make cookies. The leaves were just the right size. Barbara decided that there must be a way to make a leaf just like a real cookie. Not really knowing how to bake a cookie, she went in the house and came out with a bowl of water and some soap.
The two friends went about mixing up a batter with the soap and when it was done they dipped each leaf in it then laid them out to dry on a rock. They thought the rock would make a good oven since the sun was so hot that day. While they waited for the sun to bake their leaf cookies the friends went inside for lemonade and a snack.
After an hour and a half the two friends went back outside to check on their cookies. The leaves were still soggy, but the soap was almost burned on the edges. Barbara and Mrs. Peabody cleaned up the cookies then tried to figure out what went wrong. The leaf cookies didn't turn out like real cookies at all. Before they could try again it was time to go home.
The next afternoon, Barbara and Mrs. Peabody were at Great Aunt Kate's again. Once again they went to the backyard and gathered leaves for a new batch of cookies. This time Barbara made a thick paste from the soap and water. The two friends coated each leaf with a thick layer of the paste. The leaves were placed further apart on more than one rock this time. They hoped that the changes made to their recipe would yield a better leaf cookie.
Mrs. Peabody and Barbara played a game with a ball outside for a while then went in for a snack. When they remember to check on their cookies they found them a little stiffer, but the paste was still not dry after two hours in the hot summer sun. The girls decided to change the recipe again the next day.
As soon as Barbara got to Great Aunt Kate's she went out to the backyard with Mrs. Peabody and started to gather a pile of leaves. Then she went inside and got another bowl of water and some soap. While Barbara mixed the paste Mrs. Peabody prepared the leaves for baking. They made a thick paste again, but this time put less of it on each leaf. After they placed them on the rocks for baking they busies themselves helping Great Aunt Kate in the house.
They returned two hours later and found that the leaf cookies were a little more cookie like, but still not quite stiff enough to be a cookie. The friends cleaned up their final attempt and went inside for a lunch, disheartened. Great Aunt Kate asked Barbara about the project. Barbara described what they were doing and how they tried different ways each day, but couldn't make leaf cookies.
Little did Barbara know, but Great Aunt Kate got such delight from this account that she told quite a few people about it. Before long everyone was asking Barbara about her leaf cookies. Barbara was proud to describe her efforts and her final determination that leaves could not be made into cookies. Everyone was very impressed with Barbara's ability, for one so young, to attempt a project of this kind.
Barbara and Mrs. Peabody moved on to other pursuits as the summer wore on because making leaf cookies was not a very cool activity.