“Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s ‘The Little Blintz,'” by Rebecca Coffey

Apr 20th, 2020 | By | Category: Fiction


– A Boa constrictor digesting an Elephant.

– Baobabs.

– Other assorted characters (see below).

– For the batter: 4 invisible eggs, 2 cups invisible whole milk, 1-1/2 cups invisible flour, ¼ cup invisible sugar, 1 pinch of invisible salt, 1 tbsp invisible oil.

– For the cheese filling: 1 pound invisible farmer cheese, 8 ounces invisible cream cheese, 4 tbsp invisible honey or maple syrup, 1 tsp invisible vanilla extract, ½ tsp cinnamon.

-To sprinkle on top: ¼ cup raisins.


1. Anything essential is invisible to the eye. This recipe is fine without the cinnamon and raisins, which is why you can see them.

2. Draw pictures of two mixing bowls, a blender, a food processor, a heavy (nonstick) skillet, and assorted spoons, spatulas, and plates.

3. Use the blender to mix all of the batter ingredients until smooth.

4. Use the food processor to combine the cheese filling’s ingredients until smooth.

5. Melt butter in the heavy, non-stick skillet. Cover the bottom of the skillet with a very thin layer of batter. Cook for three or four minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. If the layer of batter is thin enough, at this point the top should be firm. Do not flip the pancake that has formed. Merely transfer it to a plate. Repeat these steps until all of the batter is gone, placing each pancake on a separate plate.

6. You will need enough plates to feed a Rose, a King, a Fox, a Snake, a Vain Man, a Drunkard, a Businessman, a Lamplighter, a Geographer, a Railway Switchman, a Sales Clerk, a Three-Petaled Flower, and a Turkish Astronomer. There may be enough helpings to feed one of the Baobabs, as well, though if you do feed a Baobab it is at your tiny planet’s peril.

7. The Boa Constrictor digesting an Elephant will not need a blintz. It just came for the company and conversation.

8. We all need friends.

9. Spoon a few tablespoons of filling onto the center of each pancake. Roll the pancakes, burrito style, individually. Et voila, blintzes!

10. In the still-warm skillet, drop in another pat of butter. Place as many blintzes as will fit, seam-side down, into the skillet and heat for 2 minutes. Repeat until all blintzes have been heated.

11. Serve immediately. Give the smallest one to the tiny Rose, for she will love it forever.

12. To your eyes and those of your guests, the plates will seem to hold nothing but cinnamon and raisins. But this meal is born of the songs of whirring motors, spoons in bowls, and butter sizzling in pans. It is born of your painstaking illustrations and of the joyful effort of your arms and hands in using heavy objects like blenders, skillets, and food processors. It is born of golden grain, of creamy milk given by cows lowing in the barn, and of eggs lain by chickens who cluck and flutter in the henhouse. Whether you can see this meal or not, it is a gift to your soul.

13. Enjoy! And when you make conversation with your adult guests, ask them to listen to you carefully. Grown-ups almost never understand anything easily, and you will only tire explaining matters again and again.

14. Still, each of your guests will have a useful lesson for you. Use those lessons to build a life that has meaning.

15. And for heaven’s sake, try not to be sad.


Rebecca Coffey is a science and culture journalist, a humorist, and a novelist. More info is at https://RebeccaCoffey.com

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