Melon: children story
Fairytale: Melon of Happiness
Once, a young man was wandering aimlessly in the scorching desert. Exhausted, he fell to the ground and was unable to get up. His entire life flashed before him. He remembered how he used to grow melons in his melon field – cantaloupes with their patterned rind, and honeydews with their creamy-yellow coloured skin. He decided that they were nature's most wonderful creation. He recalled how he had looked after the melons as if they were his own children, covering them to protect them from the cold, building strong supports for their stems, and watering them during the hot summer. He had fallen ill, and had had to sell his melon field.
Next, he found himself in the kingdom of the Scientist King. The ruler and all his ministers were scientists. There was a generous allowance available to anybody wishing to study science, and the traveller had decided to become a botanist. Still a young man, he studied every known element and learned about all the different vitamins which his beloved melons contained.
“I recall that the melon is a great source of silicon, which is important for a healthy brain. I used to eat melons according to scientific advice, separately from my regular meals. Then I would go for a walk to help digest all the silicon. Oh, how I would love a slice of melon right now, whatever variety,” thought the traveller. “Anyhow, I never became a scientist. My plans were ruined by a strange disease which affected the king and the best minds in the country. The scientists lost control of their arms and legs, and their minds grew muddled – rather like my own at this moment. The country began to fall apart, and people blamed everything on science. I had to flee!”
Next, he saw before him the sad face of the girl whom he had fallen in love with. He had been hired by her father to work on his farm. He worked zealously, harvesting melons from the melon fields, and the entire family was pleased by his efforts. The girl, however, would run away every time he spoke to her.
“Don't be offended by her,” the girl's father had said. “Her fiance left her after declaring that he did not like her spotty face. He is a superficial man, only interested in appearance, but my daughter has refused to look at anybody else since then.”
Many more images flashed through the man's mind before he lost consciousness. He came to again, to find that somebody had placed a slice of melon in his mouth.
“Somebody in heaven knows that melons are my favourite fruit,” he thought to himself. After opening his eyes, however, the traveller saw a dark skinned girl sitting beneath a nearby palm tree, eating a juicy melon.
“The owner of this oasis found your lifeless body in the desert and brought you here,” explained the girl. “He ordered me to feed you melon in the hope that it might bring you round.”
Each slice of melon filled the man's body with its nutrients, and he was soon able to get to his feet. He went to see his rescuer to offer him his thanks. It turned out that the grey-bearded oasis owner was also a melon farmer.
“Can you really plant melon seeds in the desert?” he asked the old man. “Surely you need moist soil for them to grow.”
“Clever people will always find a solution,” answered the man. “We grow the melons in cactus compost. The cactus is excellent at storing moisture, and provides enough water to for the young melons to grow strong. The effect of the sun is also important. The more sunlight they receive, the sweeter the fruit will be.”
After the traveller had described his desert adventure to his rescuer, the old man replied: “You possess both knowledge and determination, but you do not yet know how to use them. You knew that melons were rich in silicon, so the reason for the scientists' illness is clear: their over-worked brains were starved of silicon. Here in our oasis, melons are our food and our medicine. We make sugar from melons – they contain more sugar than cane or beet, and it is easier to extract. We obtain high-quality oil from their seeds, and feed our cattle with oil cakes.
“Thank you for your wise words,” replied the young man with emotion in his voice. “I now understand that people get ill because they know nothing about the wonderful properties of the melon. I will travel the globe planting melons wherever I go, and spreading word of their benefits.”
“Do not be too hasty,” interrupted the old man. “The melon will not grow everywhere, and it does not travel well. It would be better to visit the village where you fell in love with the young girl. She will see from your gift that you truly love her, and she will forget about her spots.”
“Melons can even help remove spots and blemishes,” added the dark skinned girl with a laugh. “The girls at our oasis make a face mask out of melon pulp and, after fifteen minutes or so, their skin is smooth and more beautiful.”
The traveller worked at the oasis for two whole months, and learned great wisdom from the old man. When the time came to leave with the desert caravan, the old man gave him two baskets of melons for the journey with a warning:
“See how I have given you melons with thick rind. This rind will protect the melons from damage. I have also given you some unripe melons – unlike the watermelons, these will mature in storage. You should also take some dried melons with you, as they occupy less space, yet still preserve their medicinal benefits.”
Read the whole story about MELON
in the book
'The World of Fruits"
TESTIMONIALS from parents & educators
Educational project 'KIND BOOK':
This was fragment from the story about BANANA from the book on Healthy Food for kids: 'The World of Fruits', part I >>
For the Book II 'The World of Vegetables' visit project Talking Veggies: Vegetables-for-kids.com
For anyone interested in their child's well-being, “The Storyteller's Guide to Health” series is sure to be of value. Following each selection of delightful stories, games and activities you'll also find recipes for the vitamin-conscious kitchen. The recipes are simple, allowing children to prepare dishes themselves with only minimal supervision, and are also designed to preserve the largest possible share of vitamins and other nutrients in the final serving. Read fragments from our stories: fruits for children
© Maria Skrebtsova,
© Alexandra Lopatina,
Illustration s by Svetlana Jijina.
Special thanks to Leigh Mosley
(LEIGH MOSLEY >> )
for her recitation of Fruit Rhymes