Monday, May 07, 2007

CBTNW, Part 7: Revenge of the Carrot Seed

The notoriously underappreciated Garrulous MacKenzie has graciously consented to reveal a manuscript that endured substantial editing before publication. The manuscript, plus MacKenzie's letter, comprise this edition of Children's Books That Never Were.

From the editor:

Dear Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson,

I am pleased that two masterminds of children’s literature have teamed up to create one book for the youth. I do have some concerns over the text, and am wondering if you inadvertently sent me a rough draft. Mrs. Kraus, I recommend making the text as minimalist as possible. Mr. Johnson, your illustrations are spot-on with the exception of the father smoking a pipe. My “young people” sources say that, in six months, pipes will be obsolete in favor of cigarettes. You don’t want your illustrations to look dated!

Sincerely yours,
Garrulous MacKenzie

The rough draft:

Revenge of the Carrot Seed

A little boy planted a carrot seed.

His mother sipped a martini and said, “I’m afraid carrots only come from the supermarket.”

His father smoked a pipe and said, “I’m afraid carrots only come from a can.”

And his big brother said, “Why would you want to grow your own vegetables? They’re yucky. Have a candy bar instead.”

Every day the boy tended to his garden. Nothing came up. And nothing came up. The boy’s short-sighted, unsupportive, bourgeois family kept saying, “Give up already, kid.”

But every day the boy tended to his garden.

And then one day, a carrot came up.

The carrot was so large that it bounced several times and smashed through the living room window.

This ruined the mother’s and father’s cocktail-party… just as the little boy had known it would.


Anonymous said...

I love this story! Why can't it be published? Oh why, oh why?!

Vivian Mahoney said...

Oh you are so clever! Thanks for sharing this one. Love it.

Lady K said...

LMAO! I SO needed this on this Monday morning. Bless you!

limpy99 said...

This story seems perilously close to the actual "Treebeard" stories. Can't recall the author, but Edward Gorey did the illustrations. My kids love Treebeard.

And I love Garrolous MacKenzie.

Saints and Spinners said...

Michelle: Blame Garrulous MacKenzie and that cursed red editor's pen!;)

HipWriterMama: Thanks! I'm really trying to branch out with this series. Any ideas you're willing to share are ones I'd be most grateful to read (and you'd get credit).

Lady K: I'm so glad I brought you a much-needed laugh.

Limpy99: I'm going to have to check out the Treebeard stories (wasn't Treebeard an Ent?). You know how I admire Edward Gorey, too.

Kelly said...

Hah! Thanks, Alkelda.

limpy99 said...

I stand corrected. Treebeard is an Ent. Wrong book. TreeHORN is what I was thinking of.

Lone Star Ma said...

Nyah, nyah, won't come up!

ElsKushner said...

Hee! Hee hee hee! I think this is my favorite one.

Probably I say that every time. But every time it's true!

Saints and Spinners said...

Bookbk: Thanks! This is one of my favorites, too, because the ending totally wasn't planned-- it just fell into my lap.