The Cares of a Carrot

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There are things that amuse me, here in the crisper drawer. The imitation of my color on the baking soda box at first offended me. How dare they copy my glory? This color is all mine. Now, after three weeks here in the drawer, I am jealous. Was I ever that bright? How dare I think that I was worth anything at all? At least my hair still looks like everyone else here. The celery, the parsley—I blend right in if only you see my hair. But then, there’s this bright, grotesque body I can’t seem to hide. What I once considered splendor is now just slimy.

I was excited when you first brought me home. I didn’t last long in the grocery store. I knew I was a prize, a real beauty.  Of course, I didn’t have many friends. They all could see how quickly I would go, so they didn’t bother reaching out to me. I wish I would have made a friend. Even if our time together was short, it would be nice to have a memory of a friend.

Underground, I didn’t compare. In the darkness where the bugs crawled, I was just myself. I didn’t know there was anything special about my texture. I didn’t admire my shade. It’s nice to live in the light, but I think I am going bad, and not just on the outside.

Three weeks have passed, and I think I have been forgotten. My limitless potential now has rotted. Instead of completing a pleasant roast for the family on a Sunday afternoon, instead of being the after school snack that finally snags little Anna’s first tooth, instead of dancing to the sweet melody with the cream cheese in carrot cake, I’ll probably just end up in the trash. Then I guess I will return to the ground. I’ve accepted my destiny.

But then, I hear a whimper.  I know it comes from the blueberry box that was brought in just yesterday. Blueberries and carrots are very different. We never associate. Blueberries stick to their groups, they grow in the sun, and they are soft and perfectly round. I am a loner, I grow in the darkness, and I am knobby and pointed. I am hard. I don’t want to go see what makes the blueberry cry. I’ve finally accepted my loneliness. But I can’t help looking, squinting from behind the hair that now clings to my face. A shriveled blueberry at the bottom of the bin is the one crying.  I wait. The celery starts to talk about the blueberry; their words are not kind and I know the blueberries can hear. The other blueberries ignore the shriveled crier. Everyone here in the drawer has already discounted me. I realize this point can have a purpose after all. I can offer the blueberry a choice. I lift my weary body. I reach. I push, and I create a small opening in the bottom of the cage. The cold silence stretches across the crisper drawer. What will the blueberry chose?

I realize it doesn’t matter what the blueberry decides because I made a choice. I finally decided to live.  Now, the light seems glorious. Now, I am not as afraid of the future. And now, I think I have a friend.

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