Today I have the pleasure of sharing a delightful story by nine-year-old Elliot Allen with you all. His story, “Broccoli for Dinner,” was a runner-up in the Turning Point Short Story Contest.
I enjoyed this story immensely. Before the contest was judged, I set certain criteria for judging, but if it weren’t for that criteria this story just might have had a special place on the podium. =) So afterward, I checked in with the talented young author, and now I am honored to publish it!
“Broccoli for Dinner” — a short story by Elliot Allen (age 9) and runner-up in the Turning Point Story Contest.
Once upon a time there lived a poor man and his wife. They lived in a little run-down house. At the front of the house, there was a small patch of broccoli. They ate broccoli every single day. For breakfast, they ate broccoli pancakes. For lunch, they had broccoli pizza, and for dinner, they had broccoli stew. They both soon got tired of broccoli, but it was the only thing they had. One day, they got so tired of broccoli that they decided to go out in the forest to look for some other food. They doubted they would find any as the forest was very dry, but they were tired of broccoli so they had to try. As the man and his wife were looking for food, they saw a dwarf sitting on a rock, looking very sad.
“What’s the matter?” the wife asked the dwarf.
“The two dwarves of Bone Valley stole my diamonds,” the dwarf said sadly. “Can you help me get them back?”
“How can we help?” asked the poor man.
“You will have to go on a very dangerous journey,” said the dwarf. “You will have to be very careful. You must go to Bone Valley, find the evil dwarves, and get back my diamonds.” The dwarf handed them an old map that showed how to get to Bone Valley where the evil dwarves lived.
Before they started the quest, the poor man and his wife went back to their house and packed as much broccoli as they could. Then they started their journey. The map told them to head due west. At first traveling was easy but after a while the ground got very rocky and their feet got very tired.
“My feet are so tired,” said the poor man. Suddenly, two hungry lions pounced out of nowhere and charged toward the man and his wife. “My feet don’t feel tired now,” said the man. He jumped ten feet in the air and he and his wife ran as fast as their legs could carry them. They ran over the rocky ground until they ran straight into two dwarves.
The lion, seeing the two fat juicy dwarfs, left the man and his wife who were thin (as they ate only broccoli) and bounded toward the dwarves instead.
“We have to save them!” said the poor man.
“How?” said his wife. The poor man unslung his pack and started throwing as much broccoli as he could at the two lions. His wife joined in. The lions ran and pounced upon the two dwarves. They opened their great mouths to bite into the plump, juicy men…but instead got a mouthful of broccoli. Everyone knows that lions like meat, not broccoli, and the lions were so disgusted that they spit out the broccoli and ran away into the forest.
“What are those bright things on the ground?” said the poor man.
“They might be the diamonds!” said the wife.
The dwarves slowly got to their feet “Hey! Those are…mmph!” The dwarves tried to protest but they too got a mouthful of broccoli. Everyone knows that broccoli gives dwarves gas, and they spit out the broccoli and ran away into the forest. The man and his wife walked over to the diamonds and picked them up. They were very beautiful. The man put them carefully in a sack and then they started back to give them to the dwarf. They found the dwarf in the exact same spot they had found him in before.
“Do you have the diamonds?” asked the dwarf.
“Yes we do!” said the poor man and his wife, handing him the sack.
“Oh how many times can I thank you!” exclaimed the dwarf. Then the man and his wife told the dwarf about their journey.
“I am actually the king of the dwarves. Since you have done this noble deed, I invite you to my castle,” the dwarf king said happily.
The poor man and his wife were so surprised that they stood still for a while. They followed the dwarf king through the forest until they burst into a clearing. In the middle of a clearing was a gigantic castle. The dwarf king escorted them into the castle.
“For dinner you can have anything you want!” boomed the dwarf king. After having broccoli for all of their life, the man and his wife didn’t know what to choose. The man and his wife began dreaming about all the different foods they could have.
“What should we have?” asked the man to his wife.
“We could have warm beef stew!” said the man.
“Or chicken and dumplings!” said the wife.
“Banana chicken legs!”
“White cheddar cheese eggs!”
“Jellied moose nose!”
The man and his wife discussed and agonized over all the wonderful foods until finally the dwarf king said, “I can just pick!”
“That’s a good idea,” said the man. The poor man and his wife waited until they were called for dinner. They walked into the massive dining room.
“What are we going to eat?” they asked
“Surprise!” yelled the dwarf king. “We’re having broccoli for dinner!!!”