What is Frutopia?

For all of you wondering what Frutopia Valley is, here is a poem that helps explains it.

 

Frutopia is a kingdom set in a fertile valley,

Nestled in the mountains, hidden by the sea.

Frutopia Valley is abundantly green,

Watered by the Crystal Lake, ever pristine!

Frutopia is a home for humanoid plants that talk.

They have limbed roots and stems that let them walk.

Frutopia is a land where all plants are welcome,

No matter what plant you are or where you are from.

Frutopia is a country true to its name,

An equal society where all are treated the same.

Frutopia is a place where all plants want to be.

Frutopia is a utopia and all are happy.

Day One

A poem about the day the Frutopians arrived in the Valley

One morning, Clayton the Gull sat on a sandy bluff and looked out to sea.

He felt the cool mist brush his feathers as he looked out thoughtfully.

There were a few clouds that lingered from the storm the night before.

The sea still frothed as the waves crashed fiercely to the shore.

Little ol’ Clay was watching the waves come and go.

When he noticed a large, floating, black box of cargo.

What on earth could this be?

Perhaps this is food for me!

Clay thought silently.

Clay watched as the box rode a wave,
Astonished it did not sink to a watery grave.

Here it comes! I shall find out at last.

He puffed out his feathers and flew over fast.

The bird touched down on the sand,

Just as the box washed up on dry land.

He marched over and found a small door.

Then something happened that had never happened before.

The door opened and the contents came out.

Plants walking, talking, lifting a shout!

Colorful fruits of every variety!

Vegetables, and nuts fresh from the tree!

“We made it! We are finally free.”

A golden wheat stalk said triumphantly.

The gull squawked and thought, What a surprise.

Here comes a feast before my very eyes.

These fruits and vegetables are triple the size!

Thank goodness! He lifted his head to the skies.

 

The gull ran close and gave a quick peck.

That simple action became a complete wreck.

Every Frutopian under the sun,

United as if they were one.

They tackled the bird and took it to the ground.

Feathers flew up, and Clay quickly frowned.

“Listen to me,” the wheat stalk said.

“We are Frutopians, not your food to be fed.

Though we are new, do not fear.

It is the golden rule to which we adhere.

Love your neighbor and be kind.

Welcome others with open heart and mind.”

Lies Dig Holes

Ollie the Orange’s favorite thing to do was to play outside and dig in the soil. He loved doing it so much, he did it early in the morning and late into the evenings. There was something special about the soil. It had a magical essence about it, and characteristics that filled every boy and girl in Frutopia with glee.

“Ollie, come in for supper!” his mother called one evening.

“But, Mom!” Ollie pleaded, digging his stems deeper into the earth.

“Now, now, come in for supper and make yourself presentable. All good orange children are obedient to their mothers,” Ollie’s shoulders slumped, and his face pouted as he patted the earth one last time.

“Yes, mom,” Ollie said as he went inside and made himself ready for supper. All his eleven brothers and sisters bustled about their large, white washed home preparing for the meal. Once they were all finally seated at the dinner table, the father asked everyone to share one thing that they were thankful for that day. Each of his brothers and sisters went on to share a moment from their day, and Ollie listened quietly waiting for his turn.

Once Ollie’s little sister Steff shared, the family oohed. Steff reached underneath her chair and pulled out a brand new, polished hand shovel. “Tiana’s father is a smith, and she said that we are such great friends, she decided to give me one of the shovels he made!”

“Oh my, that was so nice of her! What a great looking shovel,” Father said.

“You are very blessed,” Mother added with a smile.

Ollie’s eyes widened as he looked at Steff’s new shovel. I want it, Ollie thought to himself. He gazed at it so intently that he did not even realize it was his turn.

“Ollie?” Mother asked.

Ollie’s mind could think of nothing other than the new shovel. He could not even think of one thing from the day for which he was grateful. “I’m grateful for the family,” He fibbed, unable to think of anything else.

“Very nice,” Father smiled. “Carry on.”

His siblings finished out their turns, yet Ollie heard none of it. He kept thinking about how beautiful Steff’s shovel was and how much fun it would be to play with in the yard. Ollie watched Steff place the shovel back under her chair as the meal was served. Once the food was going about the table, he excused himself to go to the bathroom. While the family was busy enjoying the food, Ollie snuck under the table and snagged Steff’s shovelf! His heart raced as he held it in his hands. His mind soared as he touched the cold iron. It’s mine! he smiled, his eyes filled with greed.

Ollie snuck out from under the table and rushed outside to the hole he had dug earlier that day. He threw his new found treasure into the dirt and buried it. “She’ll never find it now!” he laughed.

Once it was buried, he went back to the table and finished out the rest of the meal in silence, dreaming of the holes he would dig and the fun he would have. Once the meal was over, Steff reached under the chair to grab her prized possession, but instead, only grabbed the air. “My shovel isn’t here,” Steff gasped. “My special shovel is gone,” she started to cry.

“Dearie, it’s okay. We can find it,” Father said patting her on the back. “Come now children, does anyone know where the shovel went?”

All the children, except Ollie, answered in unison. “No.”

Father saw Ollie’s silence and asked directly. “Ollie, do you know where Steff’s shovel is?”

Ollie’s mouth went dry and his limbs went limp. He felt his heart sink into his stomach. “No.” He squeaked, failing to swallow.

“Alright then, children,” Father said with an affirming nod. “Let’s search the house.” They began to search the house, scouring it back and forth to no avail. Steff was in tears as mother comforted her. “There, there now. It’s okay,” she said to her daughter.

Ollie’s heart was crushed. He could no longer watch his sister in tears. The boy made his way to Father and finally confessed.

“I did it! I stole Steff’s new shovel and buried it in the yard.”

Father looked at Ollie with disappointment in his face. “You stole her shovel? Why would you do that?”

“I wanted it for myself.” Ollie said bursting into tears. “I took it because I wanted to play with it.”

“Ollie, I’m surprised at you. Why would you feel that you need to steal your sister’s shovel? I’m sure she would share it if you asked nicely. Beyond that though, I’m surprised you lied to me.”

Ollie sobbed. “I know, Father. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.”

“You will need to apologize to your sister and tell her the truth. And Ollie, let this be a lesson to you. If you try to live your life in deceit, you’re the only person that you will cheat.”

 

Everyone the Same

It was another day at the Frutopian Academy, and Archie hated it. He liked going to school for the learning, but he did not like his classmates. They were mean to him because he was an Aubergine, or as the locals called him, an eggplant. Archie walked down the carpeted halls of the old palace and looked at the beautiful green, serpentine walls of the academy. “Here we go again,” he sighed before entering the classroom.

There were ten rows of desks with seats for two. Archie lumbered down the center aisle of the class, wishing to quietly find his seat. He passed by onion and apple children, walnut boys and strawberry girls. There was an assortment of fruits and vegetables from every part of the kingdom.

“Look who it is,” Gorge, the potato bully said. “Here comes the eggplant!”

“Look how funny he walks,” his crony, Vince the Tomato, said.

“Look how dark and shiny he is. Hahaha!” Gorge laughed. The Frutopian children around him followed suit for fear he might target them next.

Archie’s cheeks blushed a deep purple as his classmates all turned to laugh at him. He trudged to his desk and sat down in embarrassment, ashamed to lift his eyes.

Archie dreamed of his happy days back in the Aubergine village with his siblings. They used to lay out in the sun on the grassy hills and laze in the canal together. He wished he could be home with them now.

Archie silently put up with the sneers of his classmates as the teacher came in the room and began to teach. Mr. Curtis was an apple, and a very intelligent one at that. He taught the children arithmetic and reading, two of Archie’s favorite subjects. The boy listened intently in all of the lessons, and before he knew it, Mr. Curtis rang the bell for recess.

Archie’s heart fluttered, for he knew that recess meant isolation. He went outside and sat himself on some rocks near the Crystal Lake. From there he was able to watch the other children as they played on the playground.

Archie picked up a stone and tossed it into the water. He watched the ripples extend across the surface of the water and then exhaled deeply. He was about to wish he was at home for the second time that day, when all of a sudden, he saw a crow land on the playground.

The gigantic bird was cawing at a group of the children on the teeter-totter. The children screamed and began to run, but one walnut, a girl named Willow, fell off the teeter-totter and lagged behind the rest. Archie watched as the crow began to close in on this one unfortunate child.

“Get back!” Willow cried at the giant black bird.

“Caw!” the crow cried back.

“Shoo!” she yelled, tossing some debris at it.

“Caw caw!” the crow cried again, taking a peck at the girl’s shell.

The other children ran, terrified by the monstrous creature. Archie saw that his classmates were either running or just watching the scene unfold, but he decided to do something about it.

The boy stood from his stone and bumbled over to the walnut girl and the crow. The crow’s head tilted back and forth as it looked through beady eyes at the strange plant standing before it. “Caw!”

Without saying a word, Archie lifted one of his heavy stems and swung it directly at the bird. The clubbed fist landed in the bird’s chest. “Squawk!” Feathers flew everywhere as the crow was pummeled backward head over talons. The bird took flight, squawking as it flew away, defeated.

“Hurray!” Archie’s classmates cried and clapped. “You are a hero!” They all cheered.

“Thanks for helping me out,” Willow said, standing back to her feet.

“Not a problem. I didn’t want to see that crow hurt you,” Archie said as Gorge and Vince walked over to them.

“Archie, I’m sorry for making fun of you,” Gorge said with his head hung low.

“Me too,” Vince chimed.

“Consider it a lesson learned,” Willow said on Archie’s behalf. “No matter how big or small, round or tall, everybody is different, but should be treated the same by all.”

 

Carrot Conformity

During the Golden Era of King Wheaton’s reign, Frutopia was the greenest it had ever been. Water flowed freely from the Great Crystal Lake down the Grand Canals, irrigating the realm. The hills were covered in lush green waves of grass that were speckled by wildflowers. The fields were fertile and never barren. The population of the valley continued to grow, and all was at ease in the realm.

Villages were filled with Frutopians that happily lived their lives, merrily going about their daily tasks. One such village was inhabited by carrots. These hardworking vegetables could often be found farming out in the fields or the mining below the surface, carving out caverns of great repute. The carrots were very different than other Frutopians. These tall orange creatures had six limbs, large black eyes, and they could happily spend hours mining underground. The rest of Frutopia found more pleasure being out in the sun than staying in the ground below.

Nevertheless, carrots played an important part in the kingdom. They were responsible for gathering the iron from the earth that was used as currency in the realm. It was for this reason that Ebram, the carrot father, had a very close relationship with King Wheaton. Ebram often marched to the capitol with a band of 100 of the most skilled carrot miners. Every time he left, a young carrot boy named Gallib asked if he could join them. “Not yet, my boy, you are still a child. When you have grown you may come.” He would always respond.

“But grandfather, I want to come!”

Ebram picked his pack off the ground and threw it on his back. “Your time will come, Gallib. I shall see you when I return.” He would get down on all six limbs and scurry off to the head of the pack.

 

After one of these particular times, Gallib was so upset he went to visit his friend Sura. She was four seasons older than Gallib, and she always gave him a hard time for it. “Look who decided to come over!” Sura hopped from her bunk bed to the floor.

“Hi Sura!” Gallib made his green carrot top stand to one end, in the typical fashion of carrot salutation.

“Hello there, baby carrot.” She said as she brushed one of her stems through his mane.

“I’m not a baby carrot!” Gallib’s voice whined. “I’m a regular carrot that isn’t full grown yet. That’s all.”

“Ha ha.” Sura stood upon her four roots as she laughed. “I know you aren’t really a baby carrot. You are just still so small.” Gallib stood onto his four roots as well and saw that he only came up to Sura’s waist. He went back to the ground and pouted. “You are small perhaps, but is your courage also small?” Gallib made a straight face, furrowed his brow, and confidently replied.

“Why, no of course not. I am brave!”

Sura had a rye smile on her face as she asked. “Then would you go with me into Jasper’s cavern?” Gallib knew the youth were prohibited from entering Jasper’s cavern, ever since Jasper went insane. No one knew what got into the young miner. He would rave in the plaza about the black spots, until one day, he finally went off into his cavern and never came back.

Gallib cringed at the thought of going into the cavern. If he backed down now Sura would always lord it over him. “Ok. Let’s go.” He reluctantly said.

“Really?” Sura gave him a wary eye.

“Yes.” He affirmed her.

“Alrighty, then. Let’s go.” She beckoned him to follow her with a flick of her stems. She crawled out of the house and he followed suit. They scurried across the back roads of the town until they made it to a field far from the canal. Small, green shoots sprouted out of the earth in straight rows. “Who’s field is this?” Gallib asked.

“It belonged to Jasper, but now it belongs to his widow.”

“Oh, poor carrot woman.” Gallib sympathized.

“Should have seen it coming.” Sura shrugged. “Look, there’s the mineshaft.” She pointed to the entrance jutting from the earth as the two approached it. The wooden beams of the archway had begun to crack and splinter, but otherwise the round frame remained the same as it had been on the day Jasper was last seen entering the cavern.

Sura and Gallib stood at its entrance and stared down the menacing dark tunnel. It was not the dark that scared the two of them, for carrots have large, black eyes and can easily see in the dark. It was the unknown that they feared; the great forbidden chambers where poor Jasper had lost his sanity.

Gallib looked at Sura, waiting for her to make the first move. The girl’s face was frozen. There was no more of her usual jests, just an unusual discomfort. Gallib saw her hesitation, snickered, and started crawling into the cave. “Hey, wait for me!” Sura cried after she was already inside. She scrambled to catch up, and then the two of them kept a steady pace, side by side.

It was not long before they reached a wide open cavern. The roof was twenty feet above them, and the orange roots of the carrots could be seen sticking out, stalagmite like.

“Look at the carrot roots!” Gallib said pointing up with a smile.

“I see them.” The two Frutopians stood on their hind fours and looked at the ceiling in awe. They had never before seen carrots growing from beneath the earth before.

“Hey, this place ain’t so bad.” Sura said returning to the ground. “Why do they say it is forbidden for us anyway?” Just then, a long, eerie moan sounded across the cavern walls. “What was that?” Gallib dropped beside Sura and pressed into her side for comfort.

“Oh, please.” Sura said feigning confidence. “I’m sure it was nothing.” The same sound echoed around them. “Or the wind?” The sound grew louder, as if something were unmistakably drawing towards them.

“Ah!” Gallib grabbed Sura’s roots with his stems. “It’s getting closer.” Now Sura began to show concern.

“Maybe we should go…” Sura gave Gallib’s hand a squeeze and turned to go. Suddenly, her foreroot knocked something over that was on the floor. “Yikes!” She yelped, hopping to her roots as the tiny, hard-shelled, brownish bug wiggled to get back on its own feet.

“That thing is disgusting!” The creature had a long brown snout and speckles all over its body. “Is that the thing made all the noise?” Gallib asked as he poked the creature, helping it return to its feet. As if to answer his reply, the moan sounded again. This time it was louder and lasted longer than it had before.

Gallib and Sura looked around the walls of the cavern, searching for what violated the silence. Instead of finding its source, they saw something they had not noticed before. The walls were covered in those small weevils. “Oh no!” Gallib and Sura cried. “We have to get out of here!”

“Ooooooohhh…” The voice sounded clearer now and echoed less than it had before. Whatever it was had entered the chamber. The two of them turned to one of the tunnel entrances, and there they saw a poor, dilapidated carrot miner crawling out from the opening.

The tired miner’s eyes were fixated on some unseen object, his mouth drooled foul green, and his body limped along as he crawled across the ground, caterpillar like.

“It’s hideous!” Sura scrabbled to go back the way they had come. The long moans rang all around them, echoing through the wide cavern, sending shivers down the two carrots’ backs. The strange insects began to crawl down from the walls in droves. As Sura tried to escape, the small bugs marched across her path, cutting her short. Gallib tried to follow Sura, but the bugs continued to surround them. Bugs circling, moans echoing, strange miner approaching, the two Frutopian youths could not help but scream.

The bugs encircled them. Their strange trunks lifted upwards as they closed in around them. Sura and Gallib stood up on their roots and went back to back as the insects came closer and closer. One of the zealous creatures rushed toward them, but Sura gave it a kick that sent it tumbling backwards into the other creatures, sending them rolling like ninepins.

“Ahhh!” Gallib screamed again. The creatures came closer and closer, their mouths seemed to be grinding their teeth together, ready for a tasty morsel. In that moment, that strange carrot miner stood to his four roots and began to limp towards them.

“What do we do, Sura?” Gallib questioned, driving his back into hers.

“We never should have come here.” Her voice cracked as tears welled in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Gallib.” She turned to him and covered his eyes with her stems.

The strange miner took the pick that had been strapped to his back and swung it at the cluster of bugs sending them sailing left and right. He cleared a path to the center and grabbed the two carrot children. Their eyes snapped open to look into the face of the odd miner. Drool and a sigh escaped from his mouth.

“Jasper?” Sura questioned, shocked by the change that had taken place. Black corruption ate away at his once green roots, causing all to decay.

“Rahhh.” A strange groan emitted from his lips. “Parasites…” The insects in the cavern were carrot worms. They had bitten into Jasper’s head long ago and caused his brain to be corrupted, making him go insane. “Save…the…carrots. Run!” With a sudden flick of his stem he launched the pick axe forward, clearing a path to the exit for the children. The two carrots ran out of the cavern screaming. They emerged from the cave and rushed into the town center, screaming of Jasper’s return and the terrible weevils that were in his cavern.

“What happened? Why are you screaming?” The adults in the town center asked.

“We went into Jasper’s cavern and found some terrible bugs. They surrounded us and almost ate us, but Jasper came out and saved us!” Sura said with her stems frantically pumping.

“We barely made it out without getting eaten alive!” Gallib added.

“Don’t you know you are forbidden from entering there?” One of the adults asked, causing the two to look at the ground ashamed.

“I’m so glad you’re alright!” Another added, causing them to smile sheepishly.

Then Marsa, the great, grandmotherly founding carrot spoke in a caring voice. “Children, children, can’t you see? Your elders love you, so please, listen to them obediently.”