New Netherland survived only until 1664, but in their time the Dutch bought Manhattan for about $24 dollars, founded
New Amsterdam (later called, New York) and built an overseas province that grew rich. Much Dutch lore has vanished,except
as retold-sometimes derisively-by Wasington Irving. This story,however, the author is unknown. But the story remains
as one you have probably heard of but don't know it's origins....
In the 1655 on December's last day, a baker, Baas, was working late selling the New Year's cookies
that had carried his fame far down the Hudson River. As trade grew less, he took an extra horn of rum and was about to shut
up shop when an uncommonly ugly old woman thrust her way into the shop and demanded a dozen special cookies bearing the effigy
of St. Nick.
When the baker handed her the fragrant bag, she said crossly,'One more cookies,I said a DOZEN.' Baas
answered,'You have a dozen.''One more cookie,'said the old woman,'One more than 12 makes a dozen.'
Baas grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her to the door. 'You may go to the devil for another
cookie,You wont get it here!', he shouted. When he told his story to his wife, she suggested that on a holiday eve he should,
perhaps, give the extra cookie,but, Baas reminded her that business was business.
In the days that followed, mysterious bad luck came to the little bakery in Beverwyck (Albany). Money
and cookies seemed to be snatched up by invisable hands. Bread rose to the ceiling or fell flat as a pancake. A handsome brick
even collasped. The stubborn Dutchman began to wonder whether supernatural powers were not at work here. On New Year's Eve
the memory of the old woman appearance was so vivid that Baas exclaimed: 'Holy Saint Nicholas,sippose that old witch comes
again,What shall I do?'
As the baker spoke these words,there appeared before him the benign saint,smiling with holiday kindness.
"Well,Baas,' said his saintship,'you were speaking to me so I thought I would drop in. This whole trouble can be resolved
if you have the spirit which my holidays demand.' The figure of the saint vanished; in its place stood the ugly old woman
demanding a dozen cookies. Rapidly, Baas counted 13 cookies,presenting to her the bag with a bow and a "Happy New Year!"
'The spell is now broken,Baas,' said the witch.'Now swear to me on the likeness of St. Nick that
hereafter in Beverwyck and all the patroonship of Van Renselaer 13 will make a baker's dozen.'
Baas took the oath . From that day on,when you say a baker's dozen, you mean 13. Before she left
the shop the witch prophesied that someday 13 mighty states would unite to remind the world of her magic number.