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Franklin And The Brussel Sprouts
This is a short, humorous story of a boy faced with the problem of having to eat something that he doesn't like. The chocolate cakes looks yummy to him; but, before he can get a slice, he has to eat the brussel sprouts,especially since he has been invited to have dinner with his best friend, and that's their house rule. "Clean your plate if you want some chocolate cake."
[1,403 words]
W Rasheed Mzwritebyme
I am am children's writer, specializing in writing short stories. I live in Washington DC with my husband and children. I have been writing for a very long time, with three of my stories published with an online magazine.
[July 2005]
Franklin And The Brussel Sprouts
W Rasheed Mzwritebyme

After playing ball all day, Franklin flew into the house and went straight to the refrigerator for something cool and refreshing to drink. Martin, his best friend from next door was right behind him as he entered the kitchen, letting the back door slam behind him. Martin grabbed two tall glasses from the counter top and held them out so that Franklin could pour the juice.

"Better not spill any on your mom's floor," said Martin.

Franklin was careful pouring the juice, filling both glasses almost to the rim, without spilling a single drop.

"Just make sure you don't drop the glasses," said Franklin, as he returned the fruit drink back to the refrigerator.

The eight-year-old boys sat at the table quenching their thirst when Franklin's mother came into the kitchen, carrying a bag of groceries.

"Dinner will be ready in an hour," Franklin's mother said, "Martin; you are welcome to stay if you like."

"Gee, thanks Mrs. Hughes," Martin replied.

"What are we having anyway?" asked Franklin.

"Liver and onions with rice." said Mrs. Hughes, "It's what your father wants to eat tonight."

Franklin frowned up his nose and mouth at the thought of tonight's meal.

"I don't like liver and onions. It's yucky!" he whispered to Martin, "Do you like it?"

"I never had it before, so I don't know what it tastes like," Martin said.

"Mom used to tell me it was steak, but she can't fool me no more," Franklin said, still whispering. "I just hate the yucky stuff."

Franklin slumped back in his chair and began to think of something else he could eat, but he already knew his mother was not going to prepare anything different.

"What is your mom cooking?" Franklin asked.

"Tonight is spaghetti and meatball night," said Martin.

Franklin sat up in his chair with a wide grin on his face. "I love spaghetti and meatballs," he told Martin. "You should invite me to your house instead." he said, looking at Martin with pleading eyes as he waited for him to grant him his wish.

Martin grinned back, "okay, you can eat at my house."

"Thanks good buddy, for taking me away from the liver and onion slop. But you better call your mom and see if it's ok first." He said, even though he knew it would be. The boys always had dinner at one another's homes, but Franklin just knew it was the polite thing to do.

Franklin received permission from Martin's mom to have dinner with them. He was happy to tell his mother that Martin was having something much better than liver and onions, and that he was invited over there to eat.

"Alright," said Mrs. Hughes, "That's fine. Just don't forget your manners while you are there."

"I won't forget." said Franklin, as he gave his friend a high five. The two boys jetted out the back door and climbed the fence, heading for the spaghetti dinner.

The energetic duo rushed inside the back door of Martin's house, Franklin being so excited about eating his favorite food, especially since the big scare of what was being served at his house.

"O.k. boys," Mrs. Weber said, "The table is set and the food will be right in. So go get the dirt off your face and hands, before you sit down."

Franklin and Martin went to the bathroom and washed their hands. When they returned to the dining room table, Mr. Weber and Martin's sister Marquita were already sitting.

"Hello Mr. Weber." Franklin said, as he sat down. Martin's father returned the greeting and began a conversation with the boys; while six-year-old Marquita kept sticking her tongue out at Franklin every time he would look in her direction.

It wasn't long before Martin's mom brought in the food and began serving the hungry people sitting around the table.

Scooter, which was Martin's black and white Cocker Spaniel, even came to dinner, resting himself under the table, waiting for scraps to be given to him.

Franklin petted the dog as he lay in his favorite spot, which was at Martin's feet.

"I don't think you are going to get any scraps tonight," Martin said to himself as he waited patiently for the spaghetti to be served.

But Franklin was in for a surprise, because what Mrs. Weber served was not the pasta dinner that he was expecting.

"Sorry boys," Mrs. Weber said, as she dished up a spoonful of Brussels sprouts and placed some on all the plates. "I didn't have any hamburger for the spaghetti, so we are having macaroni and cheese and Brussels sprouts." she announced.

The Weber family didn't mind the change in menu because they liked macaroni and cheese and Brussels sprouts. But it was a big problem for Franklin. He detested the small, cabbage-looking things, just as much as he didn't like the liver and onions. He hated them both.

"For dessert, I made a double layered chocolate cake," said Mrs. Weber, so eat up, then you can have a nice big slice."

The chocolate cake sounded so good to Franklin. It was another of his favorite things to eat, but he knew from past experiences, that he would have to eat all six Brussels sprouts, before he could dive into some chocolate cake, especially at the Weber's home. Because that was a house rule.

Everyone was eating and savoring the taste of the food, even asking for seconds when they were finished. Everyone except for Franklin, who was playing with the round green vegetables. He was sliding them across his plate, piling them up on top of each other, and trying to hide them under the macaroni and cheese. He was taking small deliberate bites and eating slow.

"This is so good." Franklin told Mrs. Weber as he eyed the chocolate cake in the middle of the table.

"Thank you, Franklin." Mrs. Weber said. "I will fix the spaghetti for you guys next week. But eat up; there are plenty of Brussels sprouts left."

Franklin began to wonder what he could do with the six Brussels sprouts on his plate. He took his fork and accidentally knocked one on the floor, at least he made it look like an accident. He was hoping that Scooter would eat it, but he didn't. "Too bad for that idea," he thought.

Franklin had five Brussels sprouts left on his plate, when no one was looking he put two in his pant's pocket, leaving three green veggies left.

"Come on, Franklin, eat up!" Mr. Weber said as he helped himself to another spoonful of Brussels sprouts.

Franklin took another bite of macaroni and cheese, and chewed even slower than before. When no one was looking, he slipped two Brussels sprouts into the paper napkin, wadding it up and wiping his mouth after pretending to have eaten them. There was one Brussels sprout left, and a spoonful of macaroni and cheese. Now there was only one thing left to do. The dog wouldn't eat it, he couldn't put anymore in his pocket, and his napkin was already wadded up.

By this time Mrs. Weber was serving chocolate cake to Martin and Marquita. The cake sure did smell good, as Franklin's mouth watered for just a bite of it. He took a deep breath and with haste scooped up the last spoonful and put it in his mouth, chewing fast to get rid of it. At last he swallowed, and took a drink of water to wash the taste away.

"That was gross," Franklin said to himself. But he smiled at Mrs. Weber when she asked him if he would like more.

"Oh, no thank you, but your Brussels sprouts are delicious. I could eat them everyday," said Franklin.

Mrs. Weber took away his plate, and gave him a big slice of chocolate cake.

"Your mom is a good cook." Franklin said to Martin as he enjoyed what he was eating. "This is worth eating one nasty Brussels sprout," he said to himself.

When it was time to go home, Franklin thanked Mrs. Weber for a wonderful meal, and told Martin he would see him the next day. But before he could leave, Mrs. Weber handed him a small plastic container. Franklin was shocked. His mouth dropped opened, and his eyes grew big, but he couldn't protest against the nice gesture.

"This is just for you," Mrs. Weber said, "since you love my Brussels sprouts so much. You can have these for later."

Franklin said thank you and left the Weber house, mumbling to himself.

"Now what am I going to do with all these yucky Brussels sprouts?" he said, as he hopped the fence to go home.

                                                                                  The End



"Nice!" -- Gene Boris.


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© 2004 W Rasheed Mzwritebyme
July 2005

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