Holling has several episodes with the cream puffs. The first time, he is threatened with death (or at least harm) by some of his classmates, including Meryl Lee, because Mrs. Baker gives him a cream puff, something nobody else in the class receives. They do not believe him when he says he did not eat it, even though he really did not, as he caused all the cream puffs to get covered in chalk dust. Unfortunately, the Wives of Vietnam Soldiers ate theirs, and reportedly all of them nearly choked to death because of the chalk dust covering them.
Holling takes the threats of bodily harm from his classmates seriously and saves his allowance to buy the cream puffs, but it is not enough. He asks the baker if he can trade work for the cream puffs he needs, but instead, the baker says he needs someone who knows Shakespeare, which just happens to be Holling. Holling is therefore cast as Ariel in a production of The Tempest and gets his cream puffs. However, before the class can eat them, two labs rats get into them and ruin the treat. Holling is back in hot water, forced to come up with cream puffs for the class, but for the second time is saved when Mrs. Bakers buys the cream puffs he needs.