The Stolen Smell is a timeless story from Peru, told by Mitch Weiss and Martha Hamilton. This folktale tells the story of a greedy baker who becomes so angered over a neighbor's happiness from smelling the fresh aromas of his bakery that he demands that his neighbor pay him a “smelling fee” for enjoying the delightful smell of baking bread. The poor neighbor is confused and does not have very much money so the baker takes him to court where the baker learns a very valuable life lesson from a wise judge.
Interest Level: Ages 4-8
Guided Reading Level: K
Lexile Measure: 720L
This whimsical story provides valuable life lessons in character values about finding ways to be resourceful, treating people fairly and honestly while also taking full responsibility for our actions. A wise and clever judge shows the greedy baker that there is more to happiness than just making money. The story also serves as a useful resource for teaching a basic lesson in economics which even young children can understand. In this case the product (bread) yields an external benefit or pleasant by-product (the aroma) for consumers and neighbors. There is no need to pay for enjoying this additional benefit.