Pictou was hard at work, taking down lecture notes in his exercise book, when Stewiacke and friends suddenly barged into the room. Stewiacke picked up a marker pen and scrawled “Pictou is a stinx!” on the whiteboard. Pictou gasped as he stared at the insult, causing him to relieve himself, releasing ammonia into the air. “Hey! Shoo! Out!” Mrs. Balsey hissed at Stewiacke and friends, flipping her arms up to ward them off. “Uh, Mrs. Balsey?” Pictou began, arising from his chair. “Yes, Pictou?” “May I go to the bathroom, please?” he asked her politely. “I need to change myself.” “Alright.” “Thanks,” Pictou nodded, and he left the classroom.

Just as he entered the men’s room, Pictou accidentally bumped into the attendant, gasping and whipping around to him. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” Pictou exclaimed apologetically. “Oh, it’s alright,” the attendant smiled. “No problem,” Pictou smiled back, and he entered an empty cubicle, locking the door and unbuckling his suspenders. Pictou pulled his shorts down, peeling his wet diaper off and disposing of it in the bin. He wiped his backside with a sheet of toilet tissue, dropping it into the toilet, and slipped himself into a clean, dry diaper. Pictou pulled his shorts back up, fastened his suspenders and flushed the toilet. He unlocked the door and gave his hands a good wash before returning to class.

Pictou strolled leisurely around the field, until he spotted Stewiacke and friends chatting to each other. “Ah-ha!” yelled Pictou. “Eh?” Stewiacke and his buddies whipped around to him. “And who do you think YOU’RE picking on?” Pictou demanded. “Eh… You, stinko?” Stewiacke replied nervously. “Well, yes,” Pictou nodded, making Stewiacke and his buddies laugh out loud.

Pictou stomped up closer to the bullies. “Well, let me make one thing clear,” he began. “You make my life a misery! All of you!” Stewiacke and his buddies could only stare and cower in shock. “I’ve had enough! Enough of you and your stupid things!” Pictou shouted firmly. “And you should know that I’m not as weak as you always think I am!” “He’s right!” Hantsport realized sadly.

Filled with newfound confidence, Pictou turned around and dialled his parents. “Mom, you know those bullies?” “Yes?” Port Hawkesbury replied. She was shopping at the mall with Stellarton. “Well,” Pictou smiled, “I stood up to them.” Port Hawkesbury gasped happily. “Aw, that’s my boy!” she exclaimed proudly, and Stellarton also smiled as he jotted this down in his notebook. “You’re such a sweetheart, Pictou.” Pictou couldn’t help but smile along as he listened to his parents’ joyful voices over the phone.

Port Hawkesbury stood in the kitchen, crying at Pictou. “My dear, you’re thirteen,” she sobbed to him. “That means you need to become a bit more independent.” “Yes, I will,” Pictou nodded, and Port Hawkesbury sniffled. “How about you make something, Pictou?” she suggested. “Alright.” “Good boy,” Port Hawkesbury praised him.

Whipping on a black and white stripy apron and tying it around his waist, Pictou pulled out a baking cookbook and flipped to a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. He fetched some flour, butter, sugar, chocolate chips, Acadian spice, an egg and a bottle of milk. He sifted the flour into a glass bowl, then folded in the egg yolk, butter, sugar, spice and milk and briskly whisked all the ingredients together to make cookie batter. Pictou prepared a baking tray with aluminum foil and heated the oven to the temperature determined in the recipe. He spooned a few dollops of cookie batter onto the tray, sprinkling a handful of chocolate chips over, and carefully slid the tray inside.

Just as he closed the oven door, Pictou relieved himself. “Oh. I better do that myself,” he laughed, sniffing ammonia in the air, and he ascended the stairs to the bathroom, locking the door, unhitching his suspenders and pulling his shorts down. Pictou binned his wet diaper and wiped his backside with a piece of toilet tissue, throwing it into the toilet. He slipped into a fresh, dry diaper, pulling his shorts back up and re-clasping his suspenders. Flushing the toilet, he gave his hands a good wash and returned downstairs to the kitchen, reading the Denoons’ binders of food magazines as the cookies baked.

Eventually, the oven pinged, and Pictou sniffed freshly-baked cookies in the air. Opening the oven door, he carefully removed the cookies, then shut the door and switched the oven off. Pictou smiled as he held the hot tray of cookies in his hands.

Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton entered the kitchen, also sniffing cookies in the air. “Oh, Pictou!” Port Hawkesbury exclaimed joyfully, spotting the cookies. “You made those all by yourself!” She rushed up to Pictou, picking him up and embracing him. “And I heard. You’re becoming so independent now, dear!” “Yes, I am,” Pictou nodded in agreement, and Stellarton, smiling, jotted some notes down in his notebook. “Here, let’s try some,” said Port Hawkesbury, and the Denoons took a cookie each, taking a small bite. “Oh, this is really tasty, Pictou,” Stellarton commented. “Hee-hee, yes,” Pictou giggled.

Then, Pictou had a brainwave. “How about we bake some more cookies for the whole city to try?” he suggested. “Great idea, Picky-tou,” Port Hawkesbury smiled. “Let’s do it!” And with that, Pictou got on with baking even more cookies to hand out to people.

Pictou, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton strolled all together down the street, Pictou carrying bundles of chocolate chip cookies in a little seagrass basket. Their first customer – a young man relaxing in his garden. “Here, catch!” Pictou called, tossing a cookie at him. “Oh, thanks!” the man smiled, crunching on the cookie, and Pictou smiled too.

The Denoons stepped onto the Canadian Promenade, the sea sparkling sapphire-blue from the reflection of the fiery sun. The Denoons descended the stairway to the beach, where a swimmer was wallowing about in the warm waters. Spotting Pictou’s cookies, he dashed up the beach to the Denoons, gasping for breath. Pictou handed him a cookie. “Thanks,” he panted. Next was the lifeguard. Pictou tossed a cookie upwards, and the lifeguard caught it in his hand. “Thanks,” he said. “Alright,” Pictou smiled.

The Denoons climbed back up the stairs onto the promenade, where an old man was resting on a bench. Pictou handed him another cookie. “Oh, thanks, little one,” the old man thanked him. “No problem,” Pictou smiled, and the Denoons continued down the promenade, when Pictou suddenly relieved himself. “Oh,” he said, sniffing ammonia in the air, but then he smiled as he inserted a dime into the slot and entered the public convenience to get changed. A few moments later, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton heard the toilet flushing, and Pictou emerged, wearing a fresh, dry diaper. “So, who next?” he asked, smiling.

The Denoons turned onto another street, eventually arriving at Fredericton’s Fantastic Funhouse. Fredericton was speaking on the phone, with Nanaimo squatting down beside him. The Denoons waited patiently for Fredericton to finish his phone conversation.

After a short while, Fredericton hung up, and he spotted Pictou’s cookies. “Oh? What are those? Cookies?” he asked rather sarcastically. “I usually have Nanaimo Bars, but I’ll have one, anyway,” said Nanaimo. “Well, here you go, then,” Pictou smiled, handing them a cookie each. As the Denoons left, Fredericton and Nanaimo both took a crunchy bite of their cookies. “Actually,” Fredericton began, his mouth full, “these aren’t that bad.” “Yeah,” Nanaimo agreed, his mouth also full.

The Denoons entered the Canadian Park, coming across a stall run by Chicoutimi, the milkshake maker. “You want to try a cookie?” Pictou asked him in French, because Chicoutimi was French Canadian. “Oui, oui,” Chicoutimi agreed in French, and Pictou handed him a cookie. “Merci,” Chicoutimi thanked Pictou in French. “Très bien,” Pictou accepted in French.

The Denoons passed by the Canadian Dance Crew, who were working out to an energetic, upbeat song, when one of the dancers spotted Pictou’s cookies. “Stop the music! I want a cookie!” he called out to the coach, who paused the music while the entire Crew huddled over Pictou’s basket, taking a cookie each and returning to their places to resume dancing. Stellarton jotted down some notes in his notebook as the Denoons strolled on. Suddenly, a young cyclist zipped past and grabbed a cookie, ringing his bell. “Hey!” Pictou exclaimed, and he laughed.

The Denoons eventually met Kitchener, the cook, at his stall. “Oh! A mini-me,” he giggled, seeing Pictou and his basket of cookies. “Here, let me have a cookie.” Pictou stepped up and handed him a cookie. “You know, sweetie, someday this’ll grow into a little business,” Kitchener remarked. “Yeah,” Pictou smiled sweetly. “Well, off you go then, my lovely little one.” “Alright,” Pictou nodded, and he and his parents carried on strolling. “Aw, he’s so sweet,” Kitchener cooed at Pictou. The Denoons came across a young man reading the Canadian Times. “Thanks,” he said as Pictou handed him a cookie. “No problem,” Pictou smiled.

The Denoons stepped onto the emerald-green grass, eventually meeting Campbellton, who was relaxing on a lounge chair. “Oh, cookies!” he exclaimed, spotting Pictou’s cookies. “Here. Let me have one, dear.” Pictou sat down on his left leg, while Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton huddled around him. Campbellton took a cookie, giving it a big, crunchy bite. “Mmm, very tasty,” he remarked, savouring the sweet and tangy. “Aw,” the Denoons cooed in unison. Pictou, Port Hawkesbury, Stellarton and Campbellton all huddled together, linking each other’s arms in one big embrace.

Pictou looked up at the clear blue skies and the sun above, squinting slightly. He looked down at his basket of cookies and himself, then he looked back up and beamed brightly, the hot summer sun illuminating his little face.