We've all met fussy eaters and had to struggle our way through mealtimes. So, this story is dedicated to anyone who has ever had the food face-off that comes with dealing with a fussy eater. To listen to this week's story as a podcast click here!
"There's A Pony In My Pasta!"
"There's a pony in my pasta, so I can't eat it up,"
Grumbled Lexi, as she fiddled with her cup.
"I'll drink my water, but that's all that I can do.
I don't want to eat the pony. I mean, would you?!"
Her dad just rolled his eyes as he stared down at the plate.
"There's no pony, Lexi," he said, trying not to get irate.
"So you can eat the pasta. It'll make you big and strong.
Besides, it's plain spaghetti. You really can't go wrong."
Lexi turned her nose up as she inspected her meal.
"Fine," she sighed, heavily. "I'll make you a deal.
I'll have one strand of spaghetti, but I'm telling you, that's all.
There are leopards in the pasta sauce. They're playing volleyball."
Her dad then shook his head, looking half mad, half amazed.
"There aren't leopards, Lexi," he said. "Only bolognaise.
Please, just try one mouthful. It's really tasty stuff.
And then you can have some pudding, when you've eaten enough."
Lexi prodded a piece of minced beef slowly with her fork.
"But there's an alien in the bolognaise, going for a walk!
I can't eat up that alien, I might grow another head!
There's nothing else to do but leave it," Lexi stubbornly said.
"But there are peppers in the sauce," came her dad's reply.
"You like those usually! Please, just give it a try."
Lexi frowned down at her plate and her head shook left to right.
"There's a monkey in the onions and you're giving him a fright!"
She folded her arms across her chest and loudly declared: "NO!
I cannot eat my dinner, or where will the dolphins go?
They're swimming in the tomato sauce and having so much fun."
She put down her cutlery and insisted: "There. I'm done."
Just at that moment, Mum arrived, with a massive chocolate cake.
It was so enormous, it barely fitted the plate.
"This is what's for pudding," Mum declared with a smile.
"I thought I'd bring it out now, so we can look at it for a while."
"It looks so yummy!" Lexi gasped, reaching out her hand.
But Dad's eyes widened suddenly and from his seat, he rose to stand.
"There's a cockerel in the cake," he said, letting out a gasp.
And from the other side of the table, Lexi heard her mother laugh.
"Well, we won't be able to eat it," Mum said, with a sigh.
"Because if you look at the frosting, too, there's a giraffe walking by.
And I'm sure I saw I saw a rabbit hopping in the chocolate sauce.
This cake's not fit to eat. We'll have to throw it out, of course."
Lexi's mouth hung open and she didn't say a word.
But then a squeal rang out and she cried: "Don't be so absurd!"
Her parents looked down at her dinner and suddenly Lexi knew...
A few mouthfuls of spaghetti bolognaise were all she had to do.
"FINE," she huffed and puffed, as the food slowly disappeared.
It actually wasn't half as bad as young Lexi had feared.
And once most of the dinner had gone from Lexi's plate,
She sat back with a satisfied smile, to eat a slice of cake.
"See how silly you were being?" Her dad said, with a smile.
"There was nothing funny in the food. Dinner shouldn't be a trial.
And if you're sensible and eat your meals and be good for your mother and father,
If you're lucky, you might get some delicious pudding, after."
"Okay, I'll try," said Lexi, as her brow began to furrow.
"I'll try to eat all my dinner, next time. What are we having tomorrow?"
"Fishfingers, chips and peas," said a worn-out Lexi's dad.
"Ooh..." Lexi pulled a horrified face. "I think there are elephants in that."