A Spoon for Every Bite

by Dean Mattson

A Spoon for Every Bite is a Southwestern folktale written by Joe Hayes. It is about a poor man and woman who invite their rich compadre over for dinner. During the meal, the poor couple mention a neighbor who has a different spoon for every bite of food they have. The vain rich man is so obsessed that there’s someone richer than him that he wastes his whole fortune buying spoons, only to find out that the spoon the poor couple referred to was a tortilla.

The Southwestern theme of the story is by far the best thing of the story. The illustrations by Rebecca Leer are wonderfully distinctive, full of beautiful brown adobe huts, missions and mountains in the background.

The story is okay. That the story revolves using a piece tortilla as the “spoon” that is eaten up with every bit is bit clever, but an obvious deception. Since the rich man didn’t do anything particularly mean to the poor couple, agreed to be their child’s godfather and was referred to their compadre, I don’t understand why they felt the need to be duplicitous in order to teach him a lesson. Sure, it was the rich man’s greed that ultimately did him in, but it was their dishonesty that started it all and so therefore their fortune they got at the end was unethically earned.