Potato Man's Army

Potato Man's Army

A quirky tale about why you should eat up those carrots, beans and peas on your plate!

Unable to sleep,  eight-year-old Gaurav switched on his bedside lamp and picked up a mystery novel. The detective , in his novel, was a superhero — there was no crime that he couldn’t solve and there wasn’t a villain he hadn’t beaten! Gaurav wanted to be like the detective.

He reached for the jug of water by his bedside. Seeing the empty jug, he groaned. He hated to enter the kitchen at night. It was full of cockroaches!

Gaurav climbed down the stairs. He walked past  his Grandma’s bedroom. Her loud snores floated out of the room. She was a sound sleeper. Gaurav moved towards the closed kitchen door. He pushed it open slowly.

He was shocked at the sight that greeted him.

 Vegetables — no, Vegetable People — had taken over the kitchen. They lolled about on the granite platform. They  squatted on the floor. They perched on stools, and they sat on the fridge. A few bounced about cheerfully while some looked dull and bored.

A large Potato Man stood on the gas stove, addressing the gathering. “As President of the Eat More Vegetables Society, I would like to know why human children are rejecting vegetables...” he began.

“It’s a serious matter,” said Carrot Man, butting in. ‘Everyone knows that we prevent blindness, but only rabbits love us!’

“Kids hate the sight of us,” cried the Drumstick Diva.

“What about us?” asked the Spinach People. “We thought Popeye was everyone’s hero. But kids watch Popeye on TV and push away the spinach that’s served at dinner! We heard Gaurav grumble when his Grandma made spinach curry yesterday.”

Gaurav blushed. He hated veggies and lost no opportunity to crib and complain about them!
Suddenly, a loud buzz was heard outside the kitchen window. It turned louder and harsher as small monsters jumped in,  through the  window.

The monsters wore shiny red suits and had strong muscles. Each monster had several sharp bristles sticking out of its suit. Gaurav watched the monsters glare at the frightened Vegetable People.

“Who are you?” asked Potato Man.

“We are the mean monsters,” declared the tallest of them all.

The monsters removed their shiny suits. Their bodies were slimy, like the insides of a dirty well! Gaurav’s eyes widened as he read the names tattooed on their stomachs: Anaemia, Cough, Cold, Muscle Pain, Night Blindness. There were many names he had not heard of: Rheumatism, Scurvy...
A mean monster suddenly punched Beetroot Man, who rolled off the edge of the fridge and fell down with a painful thud.

“How dare you hit him?” Carrot Man shouted.

“Why not?” chuckled another monster, hitting out at the Lady’s Finger People, who collapsed in a heap!

“Go away,” shouted Potato Man, “and leave us alone.”

“No way,” said the fattest monster. “We want this place to ourselves.”

“We won’t allow you to take over this kitchen. We will fight you every step of the way,” yelled Potato Man.

“You puny creatures will fight us powerful monsters, eh? Ha!” scoffed the fattest monster. “Do you have the strength? Or the brains?” “Attack!” he yelled to his fellow monsters, who promptly surrounded the Vegetable People.

“Don’t let the monsters scare you,” Potato Man said. “Let’s show them that we are tough.”
The monsters punched, kicked and slapped the Vegetable People. The fight was turning ugly but the Vegetable People were determined to give as good as they got!

“The Vegetable People are very brave,” Gaurav thought with a smile.

He watched in amazement as the Vegetable People targeted the  monsters’ weak spot. The monsters were slowly losing the war. One by one, they fell down. Finally when the last monster fell, Potato Man smiled.

“Well done, my vegetable superheroes. I am proud of you,” he said to his happy troops.

“They indeed are superheroes,” said Gaurav, closing the kitchen door behind him. I know what’s going to happen at dinner tomorrow. Do you?

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