Zucchini The Great was the star of Caesar’s Veggie Circus and he was very vain about that. Every night before the show he would sit in front of his mirror primping and preening, telling himself he was greater than all the other acts in the circus.
“You are so much more talented than Bok Choy and Pak Choi, those Chinese acrobats.” He said out loud to his reflection as he twirled his moustache. “Anyone can tumble across the floor. And there is nothing special about Asparagus, throwing knives at a board. Pfft. Useless talent really.”
Someone knocked on his door, “Five minutes Mr. Zucchini!” It was Jalapeno, the fire breather. Zucchini the Great grunted. “Now there is a useless talent: fire breathing, Jalapeno would be better off being our fry cook.”
Zucchini the Great stood up and puffed up his chest. “Yes, I am really beautiful and the best one here. Now it’s time for the show to really start.” He made his way to the circus tent and stood waiting at the entrance, watching those two clowns, Carrot Top and Sasquash. “Do they really think anyone came to the circus to see them?” he muttered under his breath.
Finally Ringmaster Fennel, made the announcement: “Now for the star of our show: Zucchini The Great!” The crowd clapped and roared in anticipation as he made his way to the center of the ring. He stretched his arms above him, puffed up his chest smiled at the chick peas in the front row who squealed with delight.
“Zucchini! Zucchini!” they chorused as he climbed up the tall ladder to the high wire. He arrived at the little platform, momentarily annoyed for the few seconds he had to share the spotlight as Cucumber handed him his balance pole. “Break a leg Mr. Zucchini!”
Zucchini the Great took the balance pole and walked out onto the highwire with ease, thinking to himself “I’m way cooler than Cucumber.” The crowd oohed and aahed as he neared the middle of the high wire, and paused for a moment, looking down at his adoring fans. He could see the cherry tomatoes bouncing up and down in their seats. He continued his way across the wire, with just a few feet to go. “Everyone loves me because I am the greatest. I really am the best. I bet I can even do this with my eyes closed.”
To his great dismay Zucchini the Great suddenly faltered, dropping the pole and losing his balance. He teetered back and forth, finally falling. He landed in the vegetable net some twenty five feet below and lay there frozen. The crowd was silent. In a flash String Bean the contortionist was pulling him off the net and laying him gently on the floor. Saucy, the Plump Tomato (and String Bean’s wife), was kneeling at his side. “Are you okay?”
He was all right but Zucchini the Great wasn’t feeling all that great anymore. How could he have fallen? He was ashamed. Everyone was surrounding him now including the Eggplant Wizard, Chive the Sword Swallower and Broccoli the Strongman. They all seemed so concerned, even Ringmaster Fennel who was known to get steamed when things didn’t go according to plan. Zucchini the Great sat up. “That’s it Laddie,” said the Irish Potato, helping him up, “On your feet now.”
“Come on, you can do it.” encouraged Cucumber. Zucchini the Great felt guilty for looking down on him earlier. In fact, he felt really bad for looking down on all of his fellow performers. Here they all were helping and encouraging him. Would he have done the same for any of them?
“The Show must go on” said Ringmaster Fennel, “Zucchini, are you ready to get back up there?”
Zucchini the Great straightened up, boosted by the support of his friends. “Yes!”
In quick time he was climbing the ladder as the crowd clapped and cheered. He deftly made his way across the high wire and finished his act with a flourish. Bok Choy and Pak Choi met him at the bottom of the ladder and hoisted him up onto their shoulders. “Zucchini! Zucchini!” cried the crowd. The Chinese acrobats brought him to the center of the ring for his final bows in the spotlight. Zucchini the Great looked around at his fellow performers. He beckoned to them to join him in the spotlight as he could not have done it without them.
The night was a success, and Zucchini the Great learned a valuable lesson. Even if he fell again one day, he knew he’d have the support of his friends to get back up. After all, every vegetable deserves a second chance.