Cheerful Charlie and the sad, lonely orange

Cheerful Charlie’s tummy started to rumble and grumble.

“Oh, mummy!” said Charlie. “I have a grumpy tummy!”

Charlie’s mummy was busy reading. “Why not cheer it up with a juicy piece of fruit?” she said.

“Great idea!” yelled Charlie as he skipped into the dining room, towards the dining table.

Sat on top of the table was a great big, blue fruit bowl, filled with bananas, grapes, apples and pears.

Charlie jumped onto a chair to take a look at the fruit, but as he leant in towards the bowl he heard what sounded like crying.

“Mummy!” said Charlie. “Is that you crying?”

“Crying?” said Charlie’s mummy. “Nope, I’m just reading my book.”

‘Hmm,’ thought Charlie. ‘Who’s that crying?’

“Daddy!” yelled Charlie. “Is that you crying?”

“Crying?” whistled Charlie’s daddy from the kitchen. “Nope, I’m just making my lunch for work tomorrow.”

‘Hmm,’ thought Charlie. ‘Who’s that crying?’

Charlie looked at Barney the dog’s bed. Barney was all tucked up, snoring his doggy head off and spraying drool around each time he breathed out.

‘Hmm,’ thought Charlie. ‘It’s not Barney. Who on Earth is that crying?!’

Charlie suddenly heard a loud “Psssssttt!” He looked around the room, confused, unsure where it was coming from.

“Psssssttt!” came again. It was coming from the fruit bowl!

Charlie looked down to see a banana with two eyes, looking at him.

“Psssssttt!” The banana hissed. “It’s that smelly orange that’s crying.”

Charlie looked beyond the banana, beyond the grapes, beyond the apples and beyond the pears to see a sad, lonely orange hiding with tears running down his face.

“Oh dear, what’s wrong Mr Orange?” Charlie asked.

The orange sniffed very loudly and cried: “All of my orange friends have been eaten, the bananas keep calling me names, the apples are ignoring me and the pears keep laughing at me. I’m just a sad, lonely orange.”

The orange started to scream in sadness. “Waaaa!”

“There there, Mr Orange. Don’t be sad.” said Charlie as he picked it up. “You have lots of reasons to be cheerful.”

“Oh, yeah?” sniffed the orange. “Like what?”

“Well,” said Charlie. “You’re nice and big – much bigger than all of the fruit in this bowl. You’re a bright and shiny colour that makes you stand out from the crowd. You have a unique name, because no other words rhyme with ‘orange’. You’re full of vitamin C, which helps keep humans healthy and strong. You have a sweet and luscious smell that fills a room and you are just the juiciest, scrummiest, yummiest, tastiest fruit in the whole wide world!”

The orange smiled a big smile, wiped away his tears and thanked Charlie for his kind words.

Charlie’s tummy rumbled and grumbled as he remembered why he skipped into the dining room.

“In fact,” said Charlie, as he licked his lips. “You’re perfect…”

The orange looked down at the ground and sighed. “OK Charlie,” it said. “You can eat me.”

And with that, Charlie ripped the skin off the orange. He ripped it so fast juice began shooting around the room. He tore two pieces at a time, shoved them in his mouth and scrunched and crunched them into delicious mush before swallowing them.

The bananas, the grapes, the apples and the pears watched in stunned silence as Charlie gobbled every single piece of the orange in a matter of seconds and threw the skin into the bin.

Charlie burped.

“Charlie!” yelled his mummy. “What do you say?!”

“Sorry mummy. But I just had the juiciest, scrummiest, yummiest, tastiest orange in the whole wide world!”


© Carl Burkitt 2013

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