Wilbur the Watermelon
Farmer Brown lived on a little farm. He was very poor and worked hard to make ends meet and he was often in debt.
One morning he went down to the field to see how his crops were growing.
In one corner of the field, he had a small watermelon patch. He grew each baby watermelon with love and care. Can you imagine his surprise when he saw in one part of the patch, an enormous watermelon. He could not believe his eyes. The local farm show was offering a cash prize of £100 – for the biggest watermelon in the district. If he could win this prize, all his problems would be solved. Quickly he replanted the baby watermelon in his green house.
He was quite sure that with care, he would have an enormous specimen. Farmer Brown called his watermelon ‘Wilbur’ and he pampered and fussed over him. The neighbouring farmers soon heard about Wilbur, the Giant. But Farmer Brown refused to show them inside his green house. “You will have to wait for the show in two months’ time.”
Every morning the good farmer could hardly wait to see his special watermelon. He rushed out to the green house huffing and puffing – so eager was he to see how Wilbur had progressed.
Sure enough, during the night, Wilbur had grown bigger and bigger. Every night he put on more weight.
The time for the show grew nearer and nearer and by that time, Wilbur was absolutely enormous. However, all the attention he was getting, made him very swollen-headed. In fact, he wasn’t quite sure whether his large size was due to normal growth or just swelling.
The next day was the day of the show. Bright and early, Farmer Brown loaded Wilbur into a special extra-large fruit case filled with a straw lining. This was to prevent Wilbur from bruising, as he was jostled about in the back of the rickety old farm truck.
At the market it was obvious who was going to win. Everyone gathered about Wilbur and he was put in the place of honour. Farmer Brown was then given the prize. Wilbur and his master beamed with delight.
Unfortunately for Wilbur, people were not satisfied just to look at him. They had to touch and feel him. It did not take long before the proud and swollen-headed watermelon was battered and bruised. Now nobody took any notice of him and he felt very sad and neglected. Not a soul offered to buy him.
Poor Wilbur who, a few hours ago, had been the centre of attention, began to cry. The tears rolled down his bruised and battered face. “No one will buy me now” he cried.
Just then a little boy, very poorly dressed, came up to the stall and said, “I have never seen such a large watermelon before, he looks super”. The little boy did not seem to notice the bruises, scratches and tears on Wilbur’s face. Please Farmer Brown, I only have 5p on me, but I would so like to take him home to my sister who has never tasted a watermelon.” Farmer Brown winked at tearful Wilbur and said to the little boy: “You may have him for nothing, he is no longer in good condition.” The little boy was overjoyed and thanked Farmer Brown. He took Wilbur in his arms and gave him a big hug.
Wilbur stopped crying and was happy again because he was going to make some hungry people happy. Farmer Brown was also delighted because no amount of money could buy the little boy’s smile of appreciation.
Barbara Louise Gillman