Children's Stories

Professor Super, whose nom de plume is Uncle Selwyn has written and illustrated a fascinating, informative, historical, and funny book that will be enjoyed by parents as much as by their children. Each story in the book is about a different vegetable.  The idea is to get children to learn to love, appreciate and enjoy their vegetables. 

Veggie Fables can be obtained from the author by completing the form below and returning it by email to super@usc.edu

Vegie Fables About Vegetables - by Uncle Selwyn
Stories to help children grow to love their vegetables.

HOW THE YAM ARRIVED AND GOT ITS COLOR.

There once was a farmer who planted his potatoes near his carrot patch. One morning as the sun came out, a budding potato woke up and opened his five eyes. He yawned and gave a little sigh. When he was fully awake he noticed a juicy carrot quite close to him.

The friendly potato said, “”Hello carrot, you have such a beautiful color".

"Thank you", said the carrot whose orangey tinge went quite red from blushing. “No one has ever told me they like my color, and besides, I never knew this, because carrots do not have eyes".

"Now, now", said the potato, "perhaps we can make a deal. I am sure that I really don't need five eyes. I will give you some of my eyes, if you will agree to give me some of your color".

"How will that be possible"? asked the pretty carrot.

"We just need to ask the farmer to boil a pot of water and then we can stew in it together".

"Sounds a good idea to me", said the carrot who was quite excited at the prospect of gaining a pair of eyes and seeing the world for the first time.

The carrot and the potato waited patiently for the day when they could get together in the stew pot. When that day finally arrived, a new vegetable was born, one that looked like a potato on the outside, but had the beautiful orangey color of the carrot on the inside. The potato and the carrot were so proud of their new offspring and decided to call it “Yam”, which is short for "You Are Mine".

THE POOR LITTLE ONION

There was once a small onion who spent his time growing together with his brothers and sisters in the farmer's onion patch. One day the farmer came over to inspect his lovely crop and said, "You onions have grown so well and so big, that you are now ready to be picked and taken to market" . The onions were so proud of themselves that they had grown up so well. They were very excited about going for a ride in the farmer’s truck, and looked forward to the experience of the market place...

HOW THE HORSERADISH AND CAULIFLOWER GOT THEIR NAMES

In a small town in the Midwest the sun was just setting and the clouds above the horizon were tinged with a beautiful orangey pink. A lone rider on his faithful horse Chestnut, entered the dusty street with its blacksmith, general store, inn and bank...

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF LITTLE BEETROOT

The little beetroot felt very good about himself, because he was always complimented for his rich crimson color and the fact that people found him sweet and beautiful. For these reasons he was often chosen to be one of the main ingredients of a vegetable salad. One day while sitting in the salad dish and waiting to be eaten, he heard the guests around the table talking about Pentium computers and about...

MR. BEAN AND HIS FRIENDLY PEAS

Mr. Bean was happily winding himself on the garden fence and enjoying the mild sunlight of a spring afternoon. The winter cold had made him somewhat yellow and withered and now the new season was changing his coat to a crispy green. He did not want to be a "has been" and he knew he had plenty of growth and potential inside of him. He did feel a little sad, however, because his brothers and sisters seemed to live in their own worlds and, in fact, he had no bean friends...

AUBERGINE, BRINJAL, AND THE EGG PLANT

 

Mr. Cluck the chicken farmer was famous for the eggs that his hens laid for him, and which he took daily to be sold in the market place. In fact, in order to let people know exactly what his farm was all about, he had called it, "Mr. Cluck's Egg Plant"...

THE JUICY TOMATOES

It was spring time and the air was filled with the wonderful smell of new plants budding. Cool and warm winds gently wafted amongst the plant leaves and made them rustle to and fro. The young berries on the vines twisted and turned on their trellises warming their green bellies.

With each successive day the berries would grow larger gradually changing their color from light green to a tinge of greeny orange. Within days their skins would be beautifully red, and the berries would be ripe for picking. The French farmers would gather up their "love apples", which we call “tomatoes”, and place them carefully in their baskets to take to the village markets...

HOW THE CUCUMBER CAME TO BE SO COOL

In summer sometimes when it is very hot even plants like to enjoy a shady spot. A good farmer will know which of his vegetables need more shade than others, and will take the trouble to see that they get enough to drink and are protected from the sun. Farmer Green was known to be one such good farmer and he would either plant some of his delicate vegetables in his hot (but not very hot) house or place little sunshades over them when they were planted outside...

HOW JOHNNY CAME TO BE CALLED A PUMPKIN.

When Johnny was a little boy, I think he was aged four,
He was a little naughty, and ran out of the door.
He found himself a pumpkin, and cut it with a saw.
He didn't know it should be cooked, and so he ate it raw.
And by the time he'd finished it, he did not feel for more.
Because he had a jaw that ached, and a tummy that was sore.
Johnny ate the seeds and all,
His tummy swelled up in a ball.
He looked just like a pumpkin, we could sell him in a stall.
You know it was the doctor, his mother had to call.
He had turned into a pumpkin that was seven or eight feet tall.
And now he had to sleep next to the garden wall.
But luckily for Johnny, this all happened in a dream,
And so the very next day, his mother served him pumpkin pie and cream.

WHY THE GEM SQUASH THOUGHT SHE WAS SO PRECIOUS.

While it is only natural to love one’s own kind, the gem squashes have always received much love from their gourde family. The gourds see themselves as important because they are mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Jonah. Not only is the fleshy inside of this trailing or climbing vegetable good to the taste, but its hard shell is often used to store liquid when it is dried and hollowed out...

CORN ON THE COB, THE DENTIST’S DREAM

Have you ever been into a corn field? Well, if you haven't you'll be in for a real treat. The thousands of stalks all rising high into the air can be seen swaying this way and that as the wind decides to change its mind. From far away it looks like a sea of yellowy green waves moving to and fro. When you get closer, however, you will see each stalk proudly bearing its five or six heads of corn and each one adding to the swoosh of music of the whole field...

THE MAGIC RICE PADDY

5000 years ago in Ancient China there lived a poor farmer who lived on the adjoining land of a rich merchant. The poor farmer worked hard everyday to feed his wife and children and by nightfall he was so tired that he would sometimes fall asleep without even having a morsel to eat. One night he had a dream that he would soon become very rich. He dreamed that by sheer chance a new seed had blown all the way from India and was lying at the bottom of his small garden. If he could find enough space for it grow, it would multiply exceedingly and would become a very important food for much of the world's population...

CABBAGES AND KINGS

There once lived a king whose name was Babbage. King Babbage was a very kind king and loved to invite people to visit his palace and show them his wonderful vegetable garden. When they had seen all the delicious vegetables that he grew, he would invite them into the palace dining room. There his servants would serve all the guests a most tasty meal. First there was a divine soup which had every vegetable in it that you can think of. After that a vegetable lasagna was served, that tasted so marvelous that everyone asked the king if they could have the recipe...


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