Jack the Fruit
Jack was a fruit.
Not a specific fruit,
like an Orange, Apple, or Pear;
or a rare fruit,
such as a Physalis, Durian
or the Mighty Horned Cucumber;
he wasn’t even a Tomato – which is a fruit.
Jack was ‘all’ fruits,
though not all at once,
for that would certainly be a fruit cocktail to confuse.
One Monday, last month Jack had been a Lemon. The next day he was a Gooseberry; and this caused some confusion, I can tell you (largely because it is I who am writing this story).
Jack the Lemon had a lovely chat with Sally Strawberry on the Monday; when he met Sally on Tuesday, she didn’t recognise him – for he was now Jack the Gooseberry. This caused problems for Jack and a little embarrassment all around.
Sometimes, when Jack was particularly nervous, he would change fruits ‘during’ the day – and occasionally more than once. Mid-conversation with Bella Banana had been the worst, Jack had transformed into a Banana, and Bella had fallen for the unexpected stranger in her life, although she secretly preferred Jack the Plum, but he had seemingly left the building – a Shoe Shop – and was never heard of again.
Finally, Jack was found close to tears, having lost the affections of Bella Banana, Cindy Cherry, and Polly Peach all within a week – none of them were up for short-term relationships and a second date was never to be forthcoming.
Archie Apple saw a Lime in a corner that seemed to be crying and almost sobbing in despair.
“What is wrong, Friend Lime?” asked Archie.
Between sobs and tears, Jack the Lime answered, “I keep on changing from fruit to fruit, and I can’t keep a steady relationship. One day I’m a Greengage Plum, the next day I’m a Mango!”
The tears fell down Jack’s face and started pooling around him, creating himself as his own island.
“Listen… I didn’t catch your name?” said Archie.
“Jack.” said the woeful Lime.
“Listen, Jack; all I can say is be yourself, and perhaps wear this T-Shirt that I fortuitously found just over there.” he pointed. “It looks about your size.”
Archie handed the T-Shirt to Jack.
“It’s actually a magical T-Shirt that stops the wearer from transmogrifying into a different species, be it animal, mineral or vegetable. Or fruit.” Archie smiled benignly. “Actually, Jack, I am your fairy godmother – I knitted you that T-Shirt myself.”
Jack popped the T-Shirt on and went to look at himself in a nearby mirror.
“Do I have to wear this always?” queried Jack.
“If you wear it three days running, it will be upon you forever, and you will stay as that fruit until the end of fruit days. So, this means that you can choose which fruit you’d like to be.” Archie disappeared in a puff of smoke – as fairy godmothers tend to do.
“Archie had stopped crying. He knew which fruit he would like to be. And all he had to do was put his magical T-Shirt on the next time that he became that fruit.
It couldn’t be that long before he was a lemon again, could it.
And Sally Strawberry might still be waiting for him.