Let Us Eat Cake

Little boy standing in front of the cake display of Mandarin Gallery's Triple Three.

This is a simple story about young Liam.

One day at school, his teacher Athena walked into the class and declared, “I find that you guys are getting bored of attending classes. So, to motivate you all…”

As she dragged her last word with suspense, she drew out a box of cakes from her tote bag.


“We’ll have a cake party after we complete our first exercise, shall we?”

Amidst the cheers, Liam slammed the table hard. When he attracted everyone’s attention, he gnarled under his breath, “I cannot eat that…”

“Oh dear, why?” Athena was full of concern.

“My father said that I cannot have cakes for the next 49 days, because my great grandfather died this day 40 years ago when he choked on a piece of cake.”

“If you can’t eat the cake, we’ll finish it for you then.” Azen, who was seated behind Liam, quipped.

“No!” Liam turned around and squinted his eyes at Azen. “You can’t eat the cake that’s supposed to be MINE.”

“But you can’t eat the cake, and it’ll be inedible by the time you finish your 49 days of mourning.” Norel, a girl with a pony tail argued from the other side of the classroom.

“Now now…” Athena tried to intervene, “We’ll start our lesson today and have the cakes after that. Liam, I’ll get you something else later, OK?”

“You guys shouldn’t be eating cake in the first place!” Liam was insistent on not letting the class go on without getting his way, “If I can’t have cakes, neither shall ANY OF YOU.”

The classroom resonated with surprised gasps. A few students even started weeping at the the onset of an impending explosion of a nasty conflict.

“The class will continue WITHOUT cakes or any food at all!” Liam seemed to be on the verge of staging a protest.

“Why should everyone suffer just because of you, the only person here who can’t eat cakes?” Norel had no intention to let Liam have his way with his tantrums.

“It’s not fair!” Liam rebutted. “You are suggesting to sacrifice my personal good for the good of the majority, but sacrifice is not right! The right thing to do is not to have cakes in class at all.”

“Your great grandfather is not my great grandfather. You can mourn all you want. Don’t drag us into your personal matter. If I forced you to eat cakes now, I’ll be in the wrong. But if you force us NOT to eat cakes just because you can’t, you are being unreasonable,” Norel did an incredible thing by rolling her eyes while shooting sarcasm at Liam at the same time. “When I decided to go on a diet to slim down, I didn’t insist that everyone skip lunches with me.”

“Just let us eat cake, will you?” Azen heaved a long sigh, joining the others at casting disapproving stares at Liam.


Well, the story went that the class managed to eat cake as Azen suggested, but not without Liam’s parents lodging a complaint to the school thereafter.

Athena was fired for her insensitivity towards students with “special needs” and for allowing the other students bully Liam.

Harsh, but that’s reality.

If you were the teacher, what would you have done in the classroom?


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