Once upon a time, there lived a brother and sister called Harry and Gertrude. Harry and Gertrude were nice children, but they did not like their vegetables. They didn't even eat fruit. They much preferred scoffing sweets from the local shop. Every week they spent all their pocket money on fizzy fish, cola curls and sherbet shoe strings.
Harry and Gertrude's dad was beginning to despair. What could he do to get his sugar-loving children to eat healthily? He decided it was time for action, so he turned the end of their garden into an allotment. He tilled the soil and got the ground ready, and them lots of seeds to plant. He thought if he could get them to see the fruit and veg grow, they'd be more interested in eating it.
He was wrong.
On the day they were supposed to be starting planting, Harry and Gertrude snuck off over the back wall, pockets stuffed with seeds and money, ready to be spent on naughty treats. They knew the local sweet shop owner wouldn't serve them, as their dad had already been in and told him not to.
‘We'll have to go to the other shop on the opposite side of town,' said Harry.
‘But that means going through the forest,' said Gertrude. ‘And we're not allowed to do that. Dad said it's dangerous.'
‘It'll be fine!' Said Harry. ‘I know the way, I promise.'
So off they scampered into the wood, laughing and joking as they went.
After about half an hour, Gertrude and Harry's legs were hurting, and Harry was starting to get worried. Another hour of walking went past and the forest was getting thicker and the sky was getting darker. Gertrude began to cry.
‘We're lost, aren't we?' blubbed Gertrude.
‘Um, yes,' sniffed Harry. ‘I'm really, s-s-sorry Gertrude, but I think we are!'
As the evening drew in, Harry and Gertrude had no choice, and lay down to sleep under a big tree. They were cold, scared and very hungry. Gertrude wrapped them both up in big leaves and they used moss as pillows. They drifted off to sleep with rumbling tummies and tear-stained cheeks. What they wouldn't have given to be tucked up in their own beds!
That night, as they slept, Gertrude had a very funny dream. A little pixie was dancing around her - they were both in a huge field of broccoli, he was pulling off big handfuls of florets and throwing them in the air, chanting, ‘follow the food, follow the food!'
When they awoke up the next morning, Gertrude looked down at her feet and saw a huge pumpkin. They were so hungry they tore right into it. The flesh was juicy and delicious. Even Harry tucked in. They'd never eaten pumpkin before and were both pleasantly surprised.
During their very orange breakfast, Gertrude told Harry about her dream. Neither of them knew what it meant, but then suddenly, a little way off in the distance, Harry spotted a patch on the woodland floor, covered in something red.
‘Over there, look!' He shouted.
Harry and Gertrude raced over and saw it was a huge crop of strawberries.
They then realise what the pixie was saying to them in Gertrude's dream. They had been scattering seeds along their path as they had gone deeper and deeper into the forest, and the pixie had magically made them all grow over night so they could find their way out again.
The next stops on their trail were some beautiful, bendy beans winding their way up a tree, then some bright green carrot tops swaying in the breeze. As the children went through the forest, they munched on the delicious food that led their way.
Eventually, with very full tummies, they came out into the open, where their dad was waiting with open arms. When they got to him, Harry and Gertrude helped their dad plant a huge allotment and happily ate fruit and vegetables every day after that. They also never ate sweets again. (Well, not for at least a week, anyway...)
And they all lived happily ever after.