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The Great Elixir was also known as The Essence of Vitality and The Water of Life. A drop of it consumed sent new life coursing through one's veins. It gave power, strength, and vitality greater than youth itself. It was centuries old, and there was very little of it in existence, contained in a Golden Flask no bigger than two fingers. According to the King of the Fairy Beavers it was a "fairy compound".
The Great Elixir belonged to the Chief of an Arabian Tribe and was handed down from father to son as an heirloom more priceless than diamonds. When the last Sheikh was trampled by a mad camel, he entrusted the Golden Flask to his hunting companion, Ali Dubh. Other Arab Sheiks wanted the Elixir, so Ali Dubh fled to America and settled near Grogrande Bakery.
When the rival Arabs followed him, Ali secretly entrusted the Golden Flask to Leontine Grogrande for safekeeping. Madame Tina, however, confused the Golden Flask with a Silver Flask containing a cure for rheumatism. She poured the Great Elixir into a bowl of water and rubbed some on her arms and legs, then went to bed feeling better than she had in years.
The next morning, her husband Jules, who was a baker, used the bowl his wife had left out to mix the ingredients for a life-sized gingerbread man whom he named John Dough. When the man was fully baked, he sprang to life, due to the nature of the Elixir. (John Dough and the Cherub)