“The Cookie Lady” August 1952

Fantasy Fiction June 1953
PKD V2 (7-13)

Fat Bubber Surle can’t resist cookies. He goes to old Mrs. Drew’s house for the cookies that she bakes. She enjoys his company and his youth, but he is only in it for the cookies. When he returns home, his parents notice how tired he has become. Mrs. Drew, on the other hand, briefly grew younger while Bubber read to her. But it didn’t last. She has been moving her chair closer and closer to where he sits. His parents tell him not to go and see Mrs. Drew any longer because of the effects these visits have on him. He can go back one more time to tell her. When he does so, she is alarmed. This time she sits very close and touches him as he reads. His youth flows into her, and this time it stays. She is young and beautiful again. Bubber starts to head home, but is weak and cold and the strong wind is too powerful. When his anxious parents open the door to a faint tapping, they find only what seems some scattered gray rags and weeds on the porch.