Friday, March 5, 2010

The Little Pineapple

Once there lived a little pineapple. He lived in an exotic land on a small plantation which was surrounded by towering trees and bushes of all sorts. The little pineapple was always well cared for and was about as happy as he could be. Every day he had plenty of time to lounge in the sun. Refreshing well water was brought to him every morning by a man wearing a large straw hat. He lived with many other pineapples, and every afternoon all the pineapples would talk amongst themselves about what life would be like once they were all fully grown. They would blissfully talk for hours about their future aspirations.

"I want to be juicy and yellow," remarked one pineapple. "I want to be the best-looking pineapple," remarked a nearly-grown pineapple. "I want to be tangy and delicious," declared another one. The little pineapple always happily joined in imagining the future with the other pineapples and gleefully cried, "I want to be tall and tasty!" All the pineapples would talk like this for hours until the sun finally began to set, at which point they would slowly begin to fall asleep, one by one. Every day of the week, they would do the same thing, and every morning when they awoke, each pineapple would find that he or she had grown a little bit larger and juicier.

One day, when the little pineapple and his friends were fully grown, a tall man with a shaggy grey beard came out and walked among the rows of pineapple plants. At each plant, he stooped down and examined the fruit. Some of the pineapples he plucked from the plant and gently placed in the large wicker basket that he was carrying. Others, he passed by and left them to grow a little longer. As the little pineapple watched the man slowly work up and down the rows, he couldn't help but think to himself, "I hope he picks me!" The man was finally in the same row as the little pineapple and moving slowly down the row. The little pineapple was filled with anticipation and excitement, increasingly so with each step the man took. Finally, the man knelt down by the little pineapple's plant and looked him over. Sure enough, the man plucked the little pineapple from his plant and placed him in the large wicker basket.

The little pineapple was overjoyed! He had never been chosen for anything before, but now a new exciting adventure was about to unfold! The pineapples in the basket began to talk amongst themselves in energetic, high-pitched voices. "I can't believe I was chosen!" "Who is that man?" "Where do you suppose we are going?" "What will happen to the others?" They talked so animatedly that the next few hours flew by and they were quite oblivious to whatever was happening outside the basket. When they pineapples had finally finished discussing their journey into the unknown, a couple of them looked around in time to see the man with the grey beard carrying them off of a strange moving platform and into a small building. They were put in a small windowless room and left alone. All of the pineapples felt quite worn out by this time, so they quickly drifted off to sleep.

In the morning, the pineapples were woken up earlier than usual by a burly bald fellow. He picked up the basket and took them out of the building. Carefully, the burly fellow reached into the basket and took out a pineapple. Then he grabbed another. The little pineapple was next. He was gingerly taken and placed in a crate that was leaning at an angle, along with his other pineapple friends. Beneath the crate was a little red sign with some letters and numbers on it. All around the crate were numerous other crates and boxes with all sorts of other unusual fruits. Once the burly fellow had finished placing all the pineapples in their new crate, he took the empty wicker basket and left. The little pineapple looked around him at all the neighboring fruits and said, "I'm a pineapple, what are you?" Each fruit responded differently. A long, yellow one said, "I'm a banana." A bright green one said, "I'm an apple." A tiny, purple one said, "I'm a grape." A round, orange one said, "I'm an orange." Each of the other fruits also responded in kind. The little pineapple was surprised and delighted! He never knew that there were so many different sorts of fruit.

"What is this place?" the little pineapple asked, to no one in particular. A huge, striped, green watermelon who looked like he had been there some time replied, "This is a fruit stand. People come here and look us over. They buy whichever fruits they like best." All of the pineapples were quite excited by such a possibility. "I'm sure I'll be chosen quickly, since I'm so yellow and juicy," said one of the pineapples. "They're going to choose me first, since I'm the best-looking pineapple" said another of the pineapples. Still another happily cried, "I may not be the first chosen, but I will delight whoever chooses me, since I'm so tangy and delicious." Finally, the little pineapple (who wasn't quite so little anymore) cried, "They will be sure to choose me, since I am so tall and tasty."

And so it was, not long after the sun arose, that people began to visit the fruit stand. Some people bought a bunch of bananas. Others bought some apples. Some people moved from crate to crate and selected a few different fruits. One woman came over to the pineapples and began to look through them. All of the pineapples were excited! After examining a couple of them she took the particularly good-looking one and left. "I could be next," thought the little pineapple. As the day went on, many people came and went and numerous fruits were purchased. Two more pineapples were selected from the crate, but the little pineapple wasn't one of them. By this point, the little pineapple wasn't feeling quite as excited about this whole affair. He began to say to himself things like, "Maybe being tall and tasty isn't what I should be aiming for," and "Maybe I don't really want to be a pineapple." In the late afternoon, a few more people came by the fruit stand and bought other fruits, but then no-one else came to the fruit stand. Finally, as the sun began to set, the burly fellow came out with a large blue thing and placed it across all the crates of fruit.

The little pineapple wasn't ready to go to sleep yet and so he talked with one of the apples for a bit. The apple, who had come from a far away place by boat, regaled the little pineapple with all sorts of stories about fascinating lands and odd creatures. One sort of creature that the apple mentioned especially interested the little pineapple. The apple told him about a strange creature called a "kangaroo" that was tall, yellow and liked to hop a lot. Filled with curiosity, the little pineapple wanted to know more about this kangaroo. "I haven't actually seen one before, but I've heard that they have pointy ears, and some of them have pouches in front, to carry little kangaroos," continued the apple. After talking together for a while longer, both the apple and the little pineapple fell asleep.

When morning came, the little pineapple woke up before any of the other fruits, and thought to himself, "Maybe I want to be more like a kangaroo. I'm already tall and yellow, so I just need to learn to hop." However, the little pineapple wasn't completely convinced that it was a good idea to try to be kangaroo. The little pineapple wanted to know what the other pineapples would say about his newfound aspiration. When the burly fellow came and removed the big blue thing that was covering the crates of fruit, several of the other pineapples woke up. Unsure of himself, the little pineapple hesitantly said to the others, "I have decided that I want to be a kangaroo." While a day ago, all of the pineapples were quite happy to be pineapples, now some of them weren't quite so enthused about being pineapples. One of the pineapples, who now felt wiser and more intelligent than he had ever felt before replied, "Well, you can be whatever you want to be." Another pineapple chimed in, "If that's what makes you happy, then go for it." Still another said, "You're free to do as you please."

Now the little pineapple felt that he was on the right track. "Today," he thought, "I am going to try my best to be like a kangaroo." Soon, people started to come by the fruit stand. A bunch of them bought some of the newly-arrived grapes. Several people picked out peaches and bananas. As a young man passed by the crate of pineapples, the little pineapple thought to himself, "Now is my chance to get noticed." With that thought in his mind, he steeled himself and tried to hop. To his dismay, he wasn't able to move much at all. The young man passed by the pineapples without even giving them a second glance. A little bit later a mother with two little children came over to the pineapples. The little pineapple mustered his energy and tried to hop again. Success! He managed to hop a couple of inches into the air, just far enough to fall off the crate. For less than a second (though it seemed much longer), the little pineapple felt the strangest sensation and then, with a dull thump, he hit the ground. Although he didn't feel nearly as well as he wanted, the little pineapple thought to himself, "There! Now that I've managed to hop, I'm certain I'll be picked." But the mother, thinking that one of her children had knocked the pineapple onto the ground, hurriedly put the little pineapple back in the crate, said some words to her child which I won't repeat, and hastily grabbed another pineapple before scurrying away from the crate.

Though the little pineapple had managed to accomplish his goal of being more like a kangaroo, his tumble had an unexpected side effect. Now, there was a big brown bruise on his side. Throughout the remainer of the day, people came and went, and a few more of them bought pineapples. A couple of the people even picked up the little pineapple and examined him. But, upon seeing the bruise on his side, they quickly put him back in the crate and chose another pineapple instead. By the end of the day, over half of the pineapples were gone, and the little pineapple still hadn't been chosen yet. When the fruit stand closed in the evening, the little pineapple was feeling quite discouraged and disappointed. He asked the other pineapples, "Why has nobody chosen me?" But the other pineapples were too timid to have opinions of their own, so they just said things like, "That's just how it goes," "Maybe you'll be chosen tomorrow," and "Someone will be sure to want you." None of these answers were especially helpful, so the unhappy little pineapple asked the apple, "I acted just like a kangaroo today, I even hopped, and yet nobody chose me. Why?" But, the apple was reminded of another story from his past, and began to launch into tale after tale which were completely unrelated to the little pineapple's question. Frustrated and feeling quite alone, the little pineapple spend quite a while trying to figure it out by himself, before falling asleep from exhaustion.

Through the next few days, the little pineapple gave up the idea of trying to hop, and just sat there hoping that someone would recognize that he was still a perfectly good and delicious pineapple. Eventually, all of the other pineapples had been chosen by various people, and yet the little pineapple remained in the crate. Because of the brown bruise on his side, no-one seemed willing to take him home. A couple of days later, when the burly fellow brought another basket full of pineapples and put them in the crate, he also took the little pineapple and put a bright orange thing on him. The bright orange thing had some strange black markings on it, which the little pineapple could not figure out. Because he had the orange thing on him, more people examined the little pineapple, but still there was nobody who chose the little pineapple. With each passing day, the little pineapple became more depressed and discouraged, and with each passing day he looked a bit less lively and yellow. After several more days, the burly fellow took the little pineapple and placed him in a huge rectangular metal thing, which was dark and smelly. There the little pineapple thought of all his other pineapple friends, and he missed them. He imagined them all being happily enjoyed by the people who had chosen them. His last thoughts were, "Oh, how I wish I had been content to be a pineapple, rather than trying to be a kangaroo!" So, the black lid was placed over the top of the huge rectangular thing, and the little pineapple was never seen or heard from again.

5 comments:

  1. Black&GermanMarch 5, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    That was positively depressing. *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  2. no... NO!!! unhappy endings CAN'T happen! They just can't!!!!

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  3. I fail to see the point, b/c if it is that you should be yourself, that didn't work for him and it's don't try to be someone else, well of course you shouldn't do that. Also, stories w/o a good ending seem sad to me, which make them seem pointless, kind of like a gloom and doom story, where everything's bad and will stay bad.

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