Meet the Carrot-Tops
A long, long time ago, in the year 1850, there was a
man by the name of Sam Carrot-Top. He was a well educated
man, slender in build and always wore a dusty old cap that
covered his orange hair and broken glasses. He was an
honest and wealthy man, but you would never guess that he
and his family were well off; he never showed his wealth or
bragged about it. He used his money to help the poor and
His wife, Jane, was oh so beautiful, with lush red
hair, a petite figure, and smooth, creamy pale skin. She
loved all the children in the neighborhood, always fixing a
broken heart or a scraped knee. She was the perfect
housewife, the kind any man could want.
They lived in a small town in Georgia called Valdosta.
Sam and Jane were the talk of the town; they grew the
largest vegetables and fruits the eyes have ever seen.
Their watermelons were the size of houses and carrots as
long as 20 feet!
All the neighbors began to whisper, and became jealous
of the success of the Carrot-Tops; farmers came from near
and far to see the great Carrot-Top plantation. Because of the popularity of their fruits and vegetables, they became
a household name. Merchants came from all over the world to
buy their fruits and vegetables.
Some of the other farmers became extremely jealous of
the success of the Carrot-Tops. They tried to sabotage
their land, either by overflowing it with garbage or water,
but it never worked. The fruits and vegetables kept on
growing and growing. Some were so tall that their leaves
touched the clouds. Nevertheless, Sam and Jane ignored
their rivals and continued to be good neighbors.
Their pride and joy was their son and only child,
Peter Carrot-Top, a 10-year-old boy who was as skinny as a
Beanpole with bright orange hair and deep freckles on his
face. He wore the same old clothing over and over again,
brown khaki pants and a rainbow-colored shirt with two
different colored shirt sleeves.
Peter was teased by all the kids. Not only was his
hair funny, but his name, Peter Carrot-Top, was as well.
The kids teased him all day. Every day it was the same
thing, kids singing, "Peter Carrot-Top, Peter Carrot-Top,"
in an annoying and devilish tone.
Peter was sick of it. Unfortunately, every time he got
upset, his head would swell up like a big orange balloon
and his orange hair would gently stand up at attention. This made the kids laugh even harder.
Peter was all alone in the world; he didn't understand
or fit in. There was nothing the principal or the teachers
could do. He was just a special boy. His mother and father
were hurt the most; Peter got the orange hair from his
father, and the freckles from his mother.
His parents went to the school regularly to seek help
for him. Just a poor farmer, Peter's father did not know
what to do. He would pace the school hall as he talked to
the Dean of the school asking for help for his son, but Mr.
Snicker, the Dean, just walked around with his fat gut
stuck out, and only made the Carrot-Tops feel worse by
telling them their child needed to be placed in a special
Peter's father slammed down his hat in frustration as
the Dean sat back in his leather chair, and smoked his
cigar with a smirk on his face.
Mr. Snicker shouted at Peter's father, "Boy, calm down
before I have you thrown out on your ears!"
Peter's father grabbed up his hat; took his wife by
the hand and stormed into Peter's English class. "Peter,
get your things. We're taking you out of this school!"
By the look on his father's face, Peter knew that his
dad was very upset. All Peter's mother could do was cry and sob as they walked out the doors. The kids began to laugh,
and once again, Peter felt distant and alone.
Peter and his family jumped into their wagon, and off
they went. He could see the concentration on his father's
face, and the sadness in his mother's eyes. Peter began to
tell his parents how very sorry he was, but a gentle touch
on the hands from his mother let him know it was all right.
Peter lay back in the seat of the wagon and didn't say
Suddenly the wagon began to lift until it started to
fly. Peter jumped out of his seat and gazed in awe; he was
speechless. He looked down and saw that they were above the
He could see the cows and trees, and he even spotted
his house. Peter was tickled to death; he began to laugh
hysterically until his parents started laughing with him.
Peter said, "Father, what is going on?"
Peter's dad didn't say anything, then his mother
jumped in and told Peter that they were from a different
kind of generation.
"What kind is that?" Peter asked, dumbfounded.
Then a stronger, sterner voice jumped in; it was
Peter's father. He went on to tell Peter the story of the
Carrot-Tops. Peter listened intently, and hung onto his father's
every word. Peter's eyes began to move back and forth as
every word spilled from his father's lips. He waited
patiently to hear the story of the Carrot-Tops.
Peter's father went on to tell him that they are not
alive, at least not on earth, and that they were from a
world the living call “Death”.
Peter stuttered and said, "Do you mean we're dead?"
"Yes, we're dead," Peter's father replied. He went on
to tell Peter that they had been dead for years. He said
they didn’t belong to this world. He told Peter the world
they belonged to was called Baja, a place of mysticism and
power, a place so beautiful, and yet so evil.
"Welllll, why aren't we there?" Peter asked his
father, but his father could not do or say anything. He
just hung his head down low and began to wipe the tears
from his eyes.
Suddenly Peter's father parked the wagon on a hilltop
way above the trees, where no one could see them; then he
began to tell Peter why they were here on Earth.
"Well, son, many years ago I was one of the chosen
ones to protect Baja and make sure that the city was
preserved for all our generation, but I failed at my job."
Peter's father told him of how he was in charge of leading an army of men to get the eighth key. This key
opens the door to the eighth elder of the world. The elders
were in hibernation. When they awoke, they protected not
only Baja, but also Earth.
He told Peter that he failed when he lost the key.
Because he lost the key, the eighth elder was never
awakened. The other seven went back into hibernation
because they can only function with each other; all eight
have to be awake at the same time.
"Well, why did you lose the key?" Peter asked.
His father told him that the key was so powerful there
was a rule to never touch it with your bare hands. He did
anyway, and the key gave him so much power that he could
not handle it. His hands began to burn and his skin began
to rot and fall to the floor.
When he woke up, the key was gone and Baja was at
risk. The remaining elders were very angry, and before they
fell back into hibernation, they exiled Peter's father and
mother from Baja. Peter's mother jumped in and began to
tell Peter that she loved his dad so much that she was
willing to take banishment with him, and one day their
names would be cleared.
She also let Peter know that his father was being very
modest and taking the entire blame. She said what really happened was that Peter's dad, Sam, was forced to touch the
key by his brother, Marcus. Instead of Sam turning his
brother in to the elders, he took the blame for something
that was not his fault alone.
Jane told her son that Sam's brother was evil and
mean; but Sam didn't like to admit the fact that his
brother set him up. Suddenly the wagon was quiet. No one
made a sound.
Peter's dad began to look back at Peter in shame, but
Peter jumped up and gave him a big hug.
Sam was relieved. In a trembling voice, he looked into
Peter's eyes and asked, "So you aren't ashamed of us?"
"No!" Peter replied.
Peter then asked his father about the wagon flying.
"Oooohh! Yes, son, I will tell you about the flying
They all began to laugh. Sam told Peter that in Baja
everyone has some special ability, from making objects fly
to growing large fruits, vegetables and plants.
Peter suddenly looked at his mother and figured out
that she was the one growing all the fruits and vegetables
on their plantation.
She smiled with her cherry lips and said, "I was
gifted with the green thumb." Peter laughed and told his parents he was finally
free. His parents looked bewildered and asked him what he
meant. He told them that he knew now why he was different
from the other children at school. Peter also told his
parents he had something to show them.
"Up here?" Jane asked.
"Yes, come out of the wagon," Peter replied.
Peter's mom and dad looked at each other in amazement
and shock as they jumped out of the wagon. Peter held his
hand to the ground and began to shake. Suddenly a big hole
appeared in the ground. The hole was so big that it
swallowed up the trees. Peter looked at his parents with
pride. They looked back at him in amazement.
"Why didn't you tell us, Peter?" his parents asked.
"Well, I did not want you to be ashamed of me. The
kids at school were already calling me 'weird' and
'strange’. I didn't want to disappoint you.”
"Never," said his father.
Jane asked Peter how long had he been keeping this
secret from them, and Peter told them, for many years. He
did it only because he was afraid of his own powers. That
was a great power for a little boy to handle. Peter's
parents knew that there must be something extra special
about their son. Their brains began to think of what all of this could
mean; the wheels in their heads were turning so fast you
could see smoke coming out of their ears. But nevertheless,
Peter was happy that his conscious was clear, his face
began to get some color and his eyes began to twinkle.
The family decided it was time to go home, and as soon
as the rooster crowed in the morning, it would be time to
see the Oracle. Off the hilltop they went, swaying through
trees and mountains. Everyone had had a rough day, but now
it seemed to be a day of joy and happiness.
Peter hung his head out of the wagon and began to feel
the breeze on his face.
"Be careful,” said Peter's mother.
"I will," he replied.
All that afternoon, they went flying over rivers,
lakes and streams. They even passed a drunk sleeping under
a tree. The man jumped up and began to scream, "The sky is
falling!" He ran through the village telling the people,
but no one believed him since he was the town drunk.
Peter and his family continued to ride the high hills
and mountains until it got dark so they could return home
without being seen. He was so excited that he had finally
figured out why he was so different than the other children.
As for his parents, they were relieved that they were not hated by their son, but they were also worried about
his tremendous gift. It was a gift that no child should
have, but they did not ruin the moment by being sad. They
remained happy and upbeat all the way home.
As nightfall grew, Peter and his parents arrived home.
Nothing was the same anymore; their house began to look old
and rotten. They could see the tiniest imperfections, and
they knew in their hearts that it was time to leave.
Peter was so excited he could not sleep, but his
parents forced him into bed with the hopes of seeing a land
the living only dreamed about. Peter asked question after
question as he drifted off to sleep. His parents only
smiled as they rubbed his orange hair and tucked him
tightly into bed.
But as midnight approached, his parents found
themselves pacing the floor. They discussed how long they
had been away from Baja and how they would be accepted
after 10 years. It was very stressful for them; their faces
became blank and sad. Finally, they went to bed
anticipating a meeting with the Oracle, the only one who
could get them back into Baja. Chapter 2
Meeting the Oracle
As the rooster sounded his alarm, Peter was the first
one up and making breakfast for the entire family. He was
so excited to meet with the Oracle, but his parents
weren't. They never let Peter see the fear on their faces,
and went about their morning as usual.
Sam was out in the plantation talking to the workers,
letting them know that they might be gone for a long time.
He told them he would sign his will over to one of his
trusted workers and his family. He and the worker he picked
began to debate back and forth about taking over his land.
The worker told him that he was a poor Negro, and no
colored man had ever owned anything this successful without
being hung. Still, Sam insisted.
He gave his worker, Mr. Jones, a bag of magical seeds
and told him to spread them along the property line and he
would be protected. Sam let Mr. Jones know that he chose
him because he was one of the workers who was always
truthful, fair and honest with everyone. Though Mr. Jones
was afraid, he took the bag of seeds and hid them in his
pocket. Sam patted Mr. Jones on the shoulder and let him know
that everything would be all right, and that he would be
watching. As Sam finished his business affairs, he went
into the house where his wife and Peter were waiting on him
to eat breakfast.
No one said a word. Reality was finally setting in on
what they were about to do. Everyone took deep breaths and
began to eat very slowly. Finally, Peter started a
conversation and asked his parents what to say to the
Sam replied, "Don't say anything until you're asked."
As breakfast finished, Sam began moving things around
the house telepathically. Socks were flying through the
air, and even Jane's underwear got caught on the lamp
shade! She was so embarrassed; she jumped up and snatched
them off the shade with a smirky grin at her husband.
Once Sam got everything packed, they walked around the
house touching and feeling everything they would miss, but
Peter didn’t. He was so excited that he could hardly wait
to leave. He began to pull his parents by the hand urging
them to leave, but they were filled with so much emotion,
they had to take a seat.
As they were saying their goodbyes, Peter was already
in the wagon ready to go. After a long time of waiting, he yelled from the wagon, "Come on!"
Then the door slowly opened and his parents walked
out. Peter could tell Jane had been crying. Her eyes were
puffy and swollen; her nose was red and her face was
They jumped into the wagon and said goodbye to their
workers. Sam pulled Mr. Jones aside and told him to never
let anyone know that he had gone, and if anyone asked, to
tell them that he had some business in Paris he was taking
care of. Mr. Jones nodded, and they were on their way.
They made sure not to look back at the home and
friends they were leaving behind to go to an uncertain
place where they might no longer be welcome. The carriage
ride was long and hot. Everyone was sweating.
"Are we there yet?" Peter asked.
"Soon, son," his father replied.
As the Carrot-Tops left their plantation, they were
hailed and greeted by all the people of the town. Sam was
sad to leave his home, but what he was doing was for his
family, not for himself. Suddenly the carriage turned off a
It was so pitch black Peter became afraid and yelled
out for his father, "Father!"
"It's okay," Sam replied, letting his son know that he was right there with him.
Then there was light again, a big burst of brightness.
It was so bright they could hardly keep their eyes open.
Then it went dim, and Sam told Peter and Jane to get out of
the wagon, and to follow him closely, out of the bright
There was a beautiful forest like nothing Peter had
ever seen before -- the plants were moving and talking.
Peter was startled for a minute but then regained his
"Good day!" yelled the plants.
Peter stopped to inquire about the plants, but his
mother pulled his hands away telling Peter that they had
important work to do. Even the animals in the forest were
glad to see visitors.
Then a rabbit the size of a wagon came up to Sam and
shouted, "Well, well, well! The traitor is back!" with a
smirk on his face.
"You're gonna get it now!" a squirrel replied.
Sam did not let it bother him. He kept walking to his
destination, but Peter was amazed at the beauty and wonder
of the forest.
"Pay them no mind, Peter. They all were once our
friends," Jane said, but Peter was not listening. He was too in tune with the singing waterfall.
He watched as the waterfall turned into different
shapes, from a woman, to a dog, to a big roaring lion. This
was all exciting to him.
"Where are we?" Peter asked his father.
"This is the portal to Baja" Sam replied.
"We're moving on,” said Jane.
Peter replied, "I am so excited to see home, somewhere
that I fit in."
As they walked the long forest pathway, there was a
cottage made of golden bricks and rubies, and birds flapped
their wings vigorously when they saw Peter and his family
coming. The tension in Sam's eyes showed fear as he came to
the gate of the cottage. He hesitated to knock.
His hands began to sweat and shake out of control, so
Peter walked in front of him and knocked on the door.
Suddenly, the door opened, but there was no one to greet
them! They walked in quietly and stood in the middle of the
"Oracle, it is I, Sam. I have brought my son to you
with a gift so powerful; it must be a sign from the elders."
Suddenly a burst of fire came from the chimney, and
swirled across the room knocking down Peter and his father.
"Why have you come back? You have brought nothing but shame on our kind."
As Sam began to answer, a woman appeared in the form
of a snake with eight arms. Her fingers were covered with
gold and diamond rings that glistened in the light. She had
a crown on her head that was 9 feet tall, and in that crown
were souls crying to be free. They were in a wax-like
The crown was made of gold and silver with
hieroglyphic writings on the top and sides. The oracle was
a 12-foot snake, dressed in the finest of linens. Her upper
body was human, and the lower body a snake with a huge tail
and a long rattler. Her fingernails were long and made of
ivory like an elephant's tusk, but the most irritating
thing was that she made this hissing noise that pierced
But, oh, what a beautiful creature! Her skin was like
white flour. Her lips were like rose petals, and she had
the most adorable face they had ever seen.
Sam quickly bowed down to the Oracle, asking her to
hear him out. Jane did not bow down. She refused; telling
the Oracle that she knew Sam was set up and did nothing to
stop it, and now wanted to treat them like peasants.
The Oracle quickly threw a small fireball at Jane. She
quickly ducked her head and the fireball missed her face by an inch! Peter quickly defended his mother and created a
massive hole in the center of the house where the Oracle
Suddenly the Oracle fell down the hole, letting out a
hideous scream as she fell.
"Peter, what have you done? That was the Oracle!" said
"Served her right!" shouted Jane.
Suddenly a hand came out of the darkness and the
Oracle crawled back to the top of the hole.
"What a powerful boy! I must speak with him," said the
"No! Only if you get us back into Baja," Jane replied.
The Oracle hesitated and said, "Very well, but you are
on your own once in Baja. You and your husband are hated by
many. They blame both of you for the fall and destruction
Then the Oracle went to Peter and told him to rise up
and say nothing. Suddenly he levitated off the ground and
floated toward the Oracle. As she placed Peter in her
oversized hands, she closed her eyes and saw into the
future. In her vision, Peter had a crown on his head. His
father and mother were old and gray, but they also had
crowns on their heads. The Oracle saw a great battle were Peter defeated the evils that plagued Baja.
Suddenly, she opened her eyes and told the Carrot-Tops
that they must head straight to Baja right away.
"What is it?" Sam asked.
The Oracle told Sam that his child, Peter, was the
savior of Baja. Sam and Jane were in disbelief and began to
laugh and cry with joy.
"Our son has saved us!" They cried, and threw Peter in
the air and twirled him around in circles.
"Go now," said the Oracle. “I will make a way for you
to travel. Tell no one of this secret or his life will be
in danger.” The Oracle repeated it to Sam and Jane over and
over, until they got it in their heads. "Trust no one until
they have earned your trust!" shouted the Oracle and off
As they were leaving, the Oracle pointed the Carrot
Tops toward the kitchen, where hot food was waiting for
them to carry on their long journey. The Oracle let them
know that they must walk on foot and only use the resources
of the forest. "Hurry along, Baja awaits you," the Oracle
replied over and over again until her voice slowly
Peter was very excited to go on an adventure. His feet
began to swing back and forth, and his eyes lit up with excitement. Peter asked his father why was he so special.
Sam explained that after the eighth key was lost and
the elders could no longer stay awake, no child born would
be blessed with a gift, and in Baja everyone had gifts.
After the evil curse, no child born in Baja was blessed
with a gift or talent, and therefore Baja was at the mercy
of the evil dwellers.
“But then you came along, Peter.” Sam looked loving in
his son's eyes, “and all our fears and defeat seem to have
Sam went on to say that years had passed without a
child developing powers in Baja, and therefore there was no
one to fight the evil spirits that came upon the land. He
explained that Baja needed a new generation of fighters.
"So, yes, son; you are special,” Peter's father said,
as the Carrot-Tops walked through the forest.
It was a magnificent experience. The birds began to
fly overhead with their 10-foot wingspans and they sang,
"The prince is coming, the prince is coming."
Peter was in awe of the birds’ beauty. Their wings
were so long that he could see no end. Their tails curled
up like the locks in a Southern belle’s hair. Their
feathers were like a rainbow, every section of the birds
were a different color. They flew in lines of five, giving shade to the Carrot-Tops.
On the ground, the flowers protruded out of the Earth
at least 20 feet tall. They dropped down big petals
covering the Carrot-Tops. Peter and his family just laughed
and indulged in all the attention. Sam looked at his wife
and told her how good it felt to be adored again, and how
great it felt to be going back home.
The flowers danced in a synchronized routine. One by
one they waltzed and turned. Their petals were so huge,
they looked like ballroom gowns. The flowers were so tall
that from way, way up above, they looked like humans
"What a wonderful sight to see!" Jane said.
The forest animals now were so much more welcoming of
the Carrot-Tops than the first encounter, and they took
great care of the Carrot-Tops. Suddenly a turtle came by
and asked the Carrot-Tops if they wanted a ride. Peter
jumped up and said yes, and they climbed in.
The turtle shell was so big it was the size of a
wagon. The inside had carved-out windows; the seats were
made of the finest gold threads, and the floor was padded
with the softest cushions. It was like heaven. On the wall
of the shell was a picture of a young prince with bright
orange hair. Peter and his parents stared at it. Rabbits came offering the family honey tea and
crumpets. Oh! The rabbits were so excited that they could
barely keep still to take the Carrot-Tops’ orders! Each one
kept asking, "Could this really be the boy king?"
They zipped back and forth, running with the highest
speed, bringing the family everything that they could
possibly cook. First were the tea and crumpets, then sweet
honey rolls. Next came roasted pig. Then they brought pork
chops, steak, shrimp, fish and so forth until Sam told them
lovingly to stop.
The poor rabbits were so out of breath that they
collapsed on the floor. The Carrot-Tops laughed
hysterically, until milk came out of their noses. Then the
rabbits joined in on the fun.
"Oh, yes! This is our royal family," one rabbit said
Peter looked out of the window and saw little elves
waving and getting their first sneak peek at the boy prince.
"I see the word has spread," Jane said to Sam.
"Yes, indeed, my dear. The word has spread," Sam said.
One of the elves came to the window and took out a
mirror device that glistened in the sun and captured a
picture of the family, and then he ran off. The device
mystified Peter. The handle was made of pure gold. It lit up with secret codes and had writing Peter had never seen
Peter could see himself in the image, but it was of
something or someone he did not know. The image showed a
young boy with a crown on his head, clothed in the finest
attire. Then it was gone.
"Oh, don't worry, Peter. You will get to see them
again," his mother said.
Peter was so mystified by the elves that he kept
looking for them out of the window, but they were gone. Sam
told his son that the forest of Baja was so mystical there
wasn't enough time in death to discover it all.
"Why are we dead?" Peter asked his parents.
His parents said that everyone dies, and moves on to
other worlds, according to their deeds on Earth. They said
no one knows how many levels there are to death, but to be
on a good aura, you must do good things before you move on.
Sam went on to tell Peter that sometimes worlds collide
causing a clash of auras; sometimes it's good and sometimes
"Is that what happened to you, Father?"
"Yes," replied Sam, "I got caught up in the power of
self and all the finer things that came with it. Because of
this, I was sent back to the living, never to see Baja again."
Sam began to get teary-eyed, and Jane held his hand
tightly and rubbed his shoulders, letting him know it was
okay and they were on their way back home.
"Whatever you do, Peter, be a good person," said his
"I will," Peter replied.
Suddenly the turtle made an announcement that he would
be stopping for a rest, and Peter and his family could have
a stretch. When the ride came to a complete stop, Peter
jumped off, and his parents quickly followed.
There was a river made of dark chocolate next to them.
Peter began to drink and drink until he saw a tree that
produced strawberry cupcakes. He ran and plucked a few off,
until the tree began to talk and it startled Peter.
"Wellllllll hello," said the tree in a deep voice.
Peter was too afraid to talk. He clutched his cupcakes
and crawled back.
"Ha, ha, ha!" said the tree.
"Who are you?" Peter asked.
The tree told Peter he was just a tree, and it was his
pleasure to serve him. Suddenly the branches on the tree
turned into a face, one that was happy and jolly.
"I am so happy to be the first to serve the prince," the tree said in his husky voice.
Peter was amazed of all the wonders of the land great
and small, from the tiny ants that lined the dirt path
wearing their golden shoes on each leg, to the gigantic
pelicans in the sky that flew people from destination to
destination. It was such a wonderful sight to see a land of
milk and honey that dripped from the leaves of the trees.
Peter started to appreciate the world he was in. He really
felt like he belonged, there were no regrets in him going
"Mother, Father! Come quick!" he called out.
Hs parents came running. Peter showed them the talking
tree and the ants with golden shoes.
They cracked wide grins. "Yes, son, we know all about
them. They are your family. Baja is your family," they both
The tree just let out a big laugh, "Ha! Ha! Ha!
Welcome to Baja, my Prince!"
Suddenly a horn sounded and the turtle let the Carrot
Tops know that he was almost ready to get back on the road
again. Peter and his parents watched as the turtle got his
shell washed by two octopuses, and then polished and shined
by a herd of small spider monkeys.
"Oh, that feels good!" laughed the turtle, as the monkeys polished under his belly.
Rats and rabbits brought fresh food. One by one, the
animals catered to the Carrot-Tops. Clean clothing and
sheets for the long trip were hauled back and forth. There
were five old lady rabbits taking the measurements of Peter
and his family. They measured the Carrot-Tops from head to
toe, back and forth. They went on, not saying a word; they
were busy in their duties. Chapter 3
The Journey to Baja
Sam was so reluctant to accept his new clothing; he
had become very familiar with his overalls and old cap.
Jane just laughed.
"Oh, honey, you are so set in your ways!" Jane stated.
Peter was glad to have new clothing, even new clothing
made by a handful of rabbits.
As the turtle was on his last step of grooming, Peter
watched as grasshoppers brushed and cleaned the turtle’s
teeth. Soapy bubbles were splashing everywhere. Oh what fun
it was for Peter! A place where he finally belonged; and a
place he could really call home. The look of joy on his
mother's face meant so much to Peter.
Then a loud horn blew. It was time to load up and
leave. Back onboard, the Carrot-Tops were offered a fresh
hot bath. Jane fixed Peter's bath first. As she made it of
warm milk and bubbles, the bubbles began to sing to him as
they floated in the air.
Jane watched as her son had the time of his life
playing with the bubbles. Peter had so much fun that he
didn’t want to get out of the tub. After a long time of trying to get him out, Jane took her bath, and then Sam
followed shortly after. After the family was all tidied up,
they were laced in the finest garments of gold silk and
"Supper is ready," one of the mice called out to the
But where could supper be? The inside of the turtle
did not seem big enough for rooms and dining. But on the
contrary, with the press of some golden symbols, the turtle
turned into a mystical palace. The family was instructed to
walk down a bright, colorful hallway, where the paintings
on the walls began to talk and say “Hi” to them as they
passed by. As Peter looked around in amazement, he laughed
as two pictures of old ladies gossiped about the new
arrivals; they pointed and stared.
As they came into the main dining area, a loud voice
sounded from the line of servants. "I am Victor Caercio. I
will be your main servant." But Victor was nothing more
than a bossy cat who thought he was the best chef in Baja.
With his Italian accent, he proceeded to tell the Carrot
Tops they were dining on the finest of everything.
Jane laughed and told Victor, “This is too fancy.”
"Nonsense, my queen," said Victor. "You will get the
best of the best." Jane smiled and let Victor do his job. With the snap
of his paws, he ordered the servants around. But, oh, what
a sight to see! They were twirling like a well-organized
team, one got the forks and spoons, another tied the
napkins, and another poured their drinks. What more could a
family want than to be pampered like kings and queens?
The night's meal was a rack of lamb roasted on red
scalloped potatoes, milk from the finest cow, and warm
dinner rolls with mouthwatering honey butter. As the
Carrot-Tops ate, a big screen suddenly appeared on the
wall. It took up the entire dinning area wall space.
"What is that, Father?" Peter asked inquisitively.
"Oh, they are the scenes of Baja," Sam answered.
The entire family watched the screen as images of Baja
were shown. There were temples of the elders covered in
gold and silver with code writing going up and down the
sides. The temples were so tall that they touched the
heavenly sky. Then there were flying pelicans that took
citizens about their daily work and play.
Peter was especially amazed when he saw a pelican
taking kids to school. The pelican was built like a large
vessel that held about 2,000 citizens. It was a gorgeous
bird with a tail long like a whip. A long strand of hair
protruded from the bird's head with colors of the rainbow, and like all creation in Baja, it had symbols of code going
around its legs.
The huge bird had golden straps that ran across its
nose, and some type of tag that hung from its tail. The
kids on the pelican seemed to be having fun. Peter began to
daydream of the way he would have fun once he get there,
but no one was happier than Sam.
His orange hair began to stick up as if he had seen a
ghost. He walked in front of the screen and began to slowly
touch the images with his fingers. He stepped back in time
to when he was a boy and had his first school ride. Then
Sam broke down in tears.
Jane and Peter ran to his side telling him that it was
okay, and they were home now. Victor the cat ordered the
wait staff of mice to bring a chair. Quickly, they ran and
picked Sam up off the floor. He had fallen to his knees as
he reminisced about all the things he had lost. He clenched
his fists, and vowed to regain all of his losses and the
respect of the citizens of Baja. The wait staff of mice and
other animals slowly began to clap, one by one, until the
clapping could be heard loudly.
"My Lord, this is what we have been waiting for, for
you to come back and save us," proclaim Victor.
The Carrot-Tops regained their composure, and began to eat their dinner again, but their eyes were fixed on the
magical screen. Peter continually watched the screen as the
food missed his mouth. The scenes he watched were of the
land and the people of Baja. How friendly and happy they
were. He watched as the kids slid down a long dinosaur's
tail and had lots of fun. The land of Baja was clearly a
fairy tale -- trees talked and walked, and children had
rocks for pets and took them for walks.
"I want a pet rock, Mother!" Peter shouted with
"I will think about it," said Jane with a smile on her
Baja was so unforgettable -- waterfalls that changed
colors, rivers and streams made out of milk and chocolate,
rabbits and animals that walked, talked and lived like
people. It was the one and only place Peter wanted to be.
"How much longer before we reach Baja?" Peter asked.
Jane replied, "One more day, son, and we're home."
Sam told Peter that Baja was a big place that was
constantly growing, and the more it grew, the longer it
took to reach home. He turned to Jane and noticed she was
very sad. He asked what was wrong, and she said she hadn't
seen her parents in years. She wondered what they would
think, and if they would accept her and her family. Sam comforted Jane and said, “We will deal with one
thing at a time. Everything will be all right.”
As dinner was over, Victor the cat called to the wait
staff to bring forth Miguel. He was introduced as the
architect of Baja. With the stroke of his paintbrush and
pencil, he could make anything come to life. The Carrot
Tops began to clap for Miguel. Gracefully, he accepted and
began to draw on the walls. He drew a small tiny dragon
with big black eyes. He graced the dragon with blue and
white skin, and his long tail had white fluffy fur at the
end. His ears pointed up to the ceiling. Peter was so
excited to see the magic of the pencil. When Miguel was
finishing drawing the dragon, it came to life and jumped
into Peter's hands.
Oh, how excited Peter was! "Can I keep it, Mother?" he
"Yes, you can. But remember, it is your responsibility
to take care of it," Jane replied.
Peter couldn't thank Miguel enough. Miguel was so
pleased and happy to serve the boy prince.
"I shall name it Dingo," said Peter, and Dingo ran
into Peter's hand. Before long, they were on the floor
playing. Dingo licked Peter with his purple and polka-dot
tongue and began to wag his thick dragon tail. It was like Christmas morning to Peter.
Then Miguel came and sat by Jane with his pencil and
paper. He drew a large bouquet of singing flowers, and when
the last petal was drawn, the flowers came to life. The
bouquet popped off the artist's canvas and into Jane's
"What lovely flowers!" she said.
The minute Jane touched the flowers, they began to
grow. That was Jane's gift -- a green thumb for all things
in the garden. After the flowers grew to about four feet,
they began to sing the sweetest melody and put Jane to
sleep. She was at peace in a deep dream world.
Miguel then moved on to Sam. Sam said he didn't want
anything, but Miguel knew when not to listen. Suddenly,
Miguel began to draw, and it seemed to take forever. When
he was finally done, he motioned Sam to come over and see
his new gift.
As Sam came closer, he began to sigh. A beautiful
piano caught his eye. The piano was made out of tortoise
shell with hieroglyphic symbols on it. It also had jade and
gold, and there was no other piano like it in the entire
realm. Sam was excited and began to play. The keys were cut
ivory and the legs looked like lion’s claws. Sam played the
sweetest melody as everyone gathered around. Jane woke up to the beautiful melody, and walked over to her husband as
he played his heart out.
"You never sounded better," Jane replied.
All the passengers of the ride listened intently as
Sam played for hours. His music was so hypnotizing, and the
sounds rolled off the keys like sap from a tree. When Sam
was done, the entire room began to clap. Even the turtle
that was transporting the family was impressed.
But, when Sam turned around, Miguel was gone. He
didn't have a chance to thank him. Victor the cat told Sam
Miguel's job was done and when his work was finished, he
liked to move on.
Now it was time for bed, and Victor showed Sam and his
family back to their rooms. These were rooms Miguel had
made for them before he left. First stop was Peter's room.
The room was huge with big oval mirrors that covered the
Peter ran and looked into one of the mirrors. He could
see different images. Some were scary, like a figure on a
dark hill. Peter tried to make out the face of the figure,
but a hat was hiding it. Peter watched in amazement as the
image in the mirror came closer. Sam ran over to the mirror
and threw a piece of cloth over it.
Sam told Peter, “Don't ever stare into the mirror for long or it will capture your soul. You will become a ghost,
like what the living on Earth call a 'dead soul’.”
Sam warned Peter that some mirrors were dangerous to
look in, and if he got caught staring too long, he would
truly be dead. Sam then ordered Victor to remove the mirror
and cover the rest of them. Victor had the servants remodel
the room in a flash. The only thing Peter could see was the
view outside as the turtle ride took them to their
Peter's room had toys everywhere, from stuffed animals
to robots, but what he liked most was that he had his
friend Dingo with him. The room was painted in sugar paint
in all different designs and colors. The walls were sweet
to eat, or at least Dingo thought so, and he began chewing
on the edges of the wall.
"Time for bed," Peter's parents said.
He jumped into bed with Dingo. The bed was huge -- it
almost swallowed them up. The sheets were soft, and the
pillows were huge, including some that were body length.
After his night prayers, Peter was fast asleep in no time.
He'd had a long day.
Now it was time for Sam and Jane to go to bed. Like
Peter's room, theirs was huge, but it had no mirrors. It
was made up for royalty. It took 100 little mice to pull the covers back and fluff their pillows. They put glasses
of warm milk by the Carrot-Tops' bedside and left, one by
one. The mice had looks of joy and determination in serving
their king and queen well.
On the side of Sam's bed lay a golden chest filled
with gold coins and precious gems. The glitter of the
diamonds from the light caught his eye. He went toward the
box and opened it. He ignored all the diamonds and gold and
reached for a book that lay in the bottom of the chest.
As he grabbed hold of it, it opened, and there on the
pages lay three passports to Baja, his, Jane's, and
Peter's. Sam was amazed to see the details in the
passports; everything was perfect, from their orange hair
to their clothing. It was as if someone or something was
expecting them in Baja.
The news had spread of their return, so Sam didn't
want to let his guard down. In the back of his mind, he
feared that someone would try to hurt Peter or worse,
kidnap him. After all, there had not been a miracle child
in 10 years, and only a handful of gifted children made it
without being cursed for life.
As Sam began to think about the image his son had seen
in the mirror, he became very scared. Sam was not taking
any chances. He immediately called for Victor the cat by shaking the bell that was left on the side of their bed.
When Victor arrived in his nightgown and long stocking cap
hold a floating light, Sam asked him to have guards posted
at Peter's door.
"Very well," Victor said. He then brought Sam a deck
of royal cards. On them were different types of warriors.
"Choose one, two or three," Victor said to Sam, and so he
did. Sam walked with Victor to the hall so that Jane would
not wake up and become worried.
In the hallway, Sam shuffled the cards, and as he
shuffled in a fast motion, he could see the movements of
the warriors. There was a knight that was armored from head
to toe; he held a long silver sword. Then there was a
barbarian who was not only big in size but very powerful.
The last choice was a wizard dressed all in black that
disappeared and then reappeared on the card.
These were the three Sam chose to protect his son. One
by one, Sam said a spell, "Amenta, Labasa, Carmy," and the
individual warriors popped out of the cards. Sam needed not
say anything, they already knew their job. The three
warriors stood by Peter's bedroom door at attention. They
didn't move or blink, as they were steadfast in their
protection of the boy prince.
"You've still got it!" declared Victor. Sam just let out a big laugh and told Victor good
night. As Victor went away, Sam glanced over his shoulder
to see if the warriors were still at attention at Peter's
door, and they were. They didn't move an inch or blink.
There was no way anyone could get in that room.
Sam went to bed and had many nightmares. It was like
whatever he dreamed came true. Sam dreamed of being kicked
out of Baja for good and being turned down by the elders.
Then his dreams switched and he saw himself and his family
being hanged to death and then burned.
He awoke in a panic and ran to Peter's room.
Everything was still safe; the warriors were still standing
guard. Sam took a deep breath and began to relax, as he
walked back to the room. He sat on the side of the bed,
nervous about arriving in Baja the next day.
"What will people say? How will they treat us?" Sam
talked out loud to himself.
All the commotion woke Jane up, and now both of them
were up and worrying.
Then a loud voice echoed from the walls of the turtle.
"I believe in you, Sam," the voice said.
Sam jumped up from the side of the bed. "Who are you?"
he asked. “It is I, the turtle; are you enjoying your ride?"
Sam was a little startled, but went on to answer the
turtle anyway. Sam explained that he was very afraid of
returning to Baja and that he and his family were at risk
of disappointing the elders. The turtle comforted Sam and
Jane telling them not to worry, and that everything would
“Besides,” he told them, “I will always be on your
Sam and Jane went over and kissed the turtle walls as
if they were kissing him. Then the two of them went off to
sleep. There were no more nightmares, and everyone was fast
A giant alarm clock went off, waking up everyone on
the ride. The clock was so huge, the bang made the entire
ride shake back and forth. It had a big giant face and the
hands were made of diamonds. "Wake up, wake up!" the clock
The servants jumped up, rushing to get breakfast ready
for their royal family. Jane and Sam jumped out of bed to
see what was going on. As Jane ran out of the room, and
into Peter's room, she was startled by the three watchers.
She ran back screaming through the hallway, and Sam came out to meet her.
"It's okay, honey," Sam said to Jane. "They are just
here to protect Peter."
Jane's heart was beating so fast that she could not
say or do anything but nod her head. The three protectors
bowed down to Jane to show honor and respect. Sam explained
to Jane why he requested protection for Peter. Immediately,
Jane became worried. Sam assured her that everything was
going to be all right; even though he didn't believe it
himself. Chapter 4
Return to Baja
Jane ran into the room where Peter was still fast
asleep through all the noise, and lying beside him was
Dingo. Jane smiled and gently touched her son's face. She
placed a kiss on his cheek, and then Peter opened his
pretty big blue eyes.
"What's wrong, Mother?" Peter asked.
"Oh, nothing," Jane replied. "It's just time to get up
and start our day.”
Peter jumped up with excitement. He told his mother he
couldn't wait to see Baja, and all his family. Jane had a
little bit of worry on her face, but she did not let Peter
He ran into the bathroom where he began to brush his
teeth. Then in came two mice with fresh towels and new
clothing for him. They never said a word, just went about
As Peter was getting ready, Jane met back up with Sam.
She began to talk to him about how happy their son was and
that they needed to do anything and everything to clear
their names. Sam agreed, and off they went to get ready for the next day.
Even though fresh new clothing was on their beds, the
family liked their old-style ones and kept their original
clothes. Needless to say, this pissed the servants off.
They ran and told Victor that the Carrot-Tops would not
wear their royal garments.
In came Victor, "Master Sam, you must dress like the
Sam said, “Victor, my family doesn't need fancy
clothing to be royal.”
"Very well," said Victor as he cracked a snobbish grin.
One of the mice started crying; tears were flowing
"What's wrong?" Jane asked.
The mouse shied away and continued crying. Jane went
over and patted its little head.
The mouse crawled up in Jane's hand and asked, "Why
don't you like my tailored garments? I worked a long time
to make them fit right."
Jane wiped the mouse's tears and reassured him that it
was not his sewing, but that they liked a simple style of
clothing. The mouse calmed down as Jane gave him a big
kiss. As the mouse blushed, he slid right out of Jane's
hand. "I have to watch out for such a handsome fella like
you. You might take my wife," Sam said playfully to the
Everyone began laughing.
Jane called to Peter, and told him it was time to eat.
He and Dingo burst into the room, but the three watchers
caught his attention. "Wow!" he said as he looked at his
He admired the wizard's hat and how the secret codes
on the hat glowed from bright to dim. Then he saw the
knight, covered in all silver armor from head to toe. The
same secret codes were visible all over his armor. Last,
Peter loved the barbarian and how big he was. The golden
leather belt that went around his waist also had codes that
glittered and glowed. He had golden coins melted into his
skin from head to toe. Peter had never seen coins like them
in his life.
He went over to the barbarian's foot and rubbed one of
the coins. Peter could feel a shockwave run up his hands as
he touched the coins. It was so powerful; it made his
orange hair stand up.
After a few moments of amazement, Peter went to
breakfast mumbling to his parent about the three
protectors. He could barely keep the food in his mouth. "I thought you would like them," Sam said to Peter.
The Carrot-Tops continued eating their breakfast, but
Peter was in such a rush to see Baja; he ate very fast.
"Slow down," Jane said to Peter, but Peter was so
filled with excitement that he could hardly contain his
As the ride stopped, Peter jumped up and headed to the
window with his face plastered to the glass. He sat there
and watched as people got on and off the ride. "Father,
Mother, come see!" he shouted.
As Jane and Sam came to the window, they saw so many
different people getting off and on the ride. They were
wondering where all the people came from. The ride was not
big enough to handle that many people, but in Baja, the
impossible was possible.
"Quickly," Victor the cat motioned to the Carrot-Tops.
As the Carrot-Top family came toward him, he let them know
that this was their stop and they must pack up quickly, so
that they would not miss their flight.
"So quickly?" Sam asked.
Victor just nodded and gave Sam their passports and
Dingo came running into Peter's arms as he almost got left behind. He gave Peter a big fat lick on the cheek.
Peter laughed as Dingo continually licked him all over his
face. Victor then threw Sam the deck of cards with the
three watchers to protect Peter. He told Sam never to lose
the box of cards because it could be a matter of life or
"Wait right here, and the flight will pick you up,"
Victor said to the Carrot-Tops.
Nervousness spread on the faces of the family. They
waited on the platform patiently and waved good-bye to
Victor and the rest of the crew. They watched until the
turtle train was out of sight. It seemed to just disappear
like the wind.
As the turtle ride disappeared into the hills, a big
black shadow came over the platform where the Carrot-Top
family was standing. Everyone looked up. This creature had
a massive wingspan and had to weigh a ton.
"Look out!" someone said, as the creature came in for
Peter and his family were so in awe of the creature
that they did not hear the warning alarm. A gentleman came
to their rescue, and pushed the family out of the way.
"Oh! Thank you so much," Sam said.
The man just smiled and walked away. Sam turned to another couple on the platform to ask them if this was the
right stop. The couple nodded their heads and said, "Yes,
"Oh stop, just call us the Carrot-Tops," Sam said, but
the people just bowed their heads in honor as the Carrot
Tops passed by.
The massive creature was a bird of some sort with a
long purple beak and gold and white features. It also
displayed the codes and symbols of Baja. They glittered in
The Carrot-Tops were so amazed that they could not
move. They became motionless with a surprised look on their
faces. Peter began walking up to the creature's side and
then up to his face. The creature's eyes met Peter's eyes.
"What a magnificent creature!" Peter mumbled to himself.
"Well, hi there," the creature said.
Peter was speechless. He ran his fingers on the side
of the creature's belly.
"Oh, that tickles!" it said.
Peter continued to rub and rub its belly; he was so
amazed to see something that size up close and personal.
Jane and Sam ran over, telling Peter to leave the
creature alone. The creature sat down with his legs under
its stomach. It carried a large cargo area on its back, it looked like a floating city. There were buildings that
looked like castles; the walls were made of pure ivory,
inlaid with gold. There were long, pointed golden cones
that were towers where people stayed for long rides. The
sand outside the tower was pure black.
People inside watched as the sand revealed what it was
hiding -- huge, massive devil ray fish that jumped in and
out of the sand performing tricks for the guests. Then
there were 20-foot earthworms that were blue and red in
color that jumped out of the sand and did cannonballs and
twirled into the air.
Peter heard the people clapping and saw how much fun
they were having. He couldn't wait to see the inside.
People began to get off the ride; they had suitcases and
other knick-knacks. Some people were going off to work, and
it was like a coach stop. The Carrot-Tops just watched the
hustle and bustle of the people of Baja.
Almost everyone that went by bowed to the Carrot-Tops,
tilting their hats and extending their respect. The Carrot
Tops weren't sure what to make of it, but they began to
accept their fate and played along with the citizens of
Baja. People were carrying all sorts of gifts and food; Sam
stopped a couple and asked what was going on.
One couple replied, "It is you, my Lord. Now we can celebrate Royal Day."
"Royal Day?" Sam replied.
Yes, it was Royal Day. It had been 10 years of not
celebrating any holidays because of the curse Sam left on
Baja. No holidays were allowed because one of the elders
could not be awakened, but now, since the word had traveled
that a gifted child was born of Sam and Jane, the curse
would be broken.
When Sam heard this, more pressure mounted, and he
wasn't sure Peter was the one. A look of fear darkened
Sam’s face. In his heart, he wanted Peter to be the one,
the one who could make his family name right again. Sam
knew that if he failed this time, he would never be allowed
back in Baja. As Sam headed toward his family, standing on
the platform, a loud horn blew.
"All aboard, all aboard," a ticket taker yelled.
Sam, Jane, and Peter headed toward the line, and they
were greeted by four elf-like servants.
"This way, my Lord," all the elves said at the same
The elves pointed the Carrot-Top family into a private
entrance of the bird coach.
Sam looked back as he heard the crowd whispering,
"That's the king and his family. They have beaten the curse.”
As the Carrot-Tops entered the main entrance into the
hub of the bird, they could hear the creature’s beating
heart. Every time the heart beat, there would be a wave of
As the family continued to walk through the massive
meeting area, there were many guests from around Baja and
from different worlds. They noticed there was quite a
difference between the rich and the poor. All the rich
folks had their servants with them, and all the businessmen
and woman were huddled together talking business, all
dressed up in business attire.
"We’re out of our league," Jane said to Sam.
This meeting hall was huge and overwhelming for the
Carrot-Tops. There were ballrooms with chandeliers as big
as mountains and many, many fireplaces. Everyone stared at
One snobbish lady asked her companion, "How could they
be royal when they are dressed in rags?"
As the lady stuck her nose in the air at the Carrot
Top family; nevertheless, the family minded their own
business and kept moving. Then they passed another meeting
place where everything was underwater; Peter and his family
stopped to watch as mermaids danced and had fun. To Peter, that was fantastic. He had never seen a mermaid. One of the
mermaids saw Peter watching and came up to the glass that
separates them, and blew him a kiss. Yes, indeed, Peter was
very embarrassed and began to blush. His parents just
laughed at their son’s shyness.
As they kept walking down the long golden corridor,
there were many rooms. Some of the room doors were open.
One room was a saloon where bar fights were going on.
Quickly Sam and Jane covered their son's eyes to such
violence, and one of the elves called for security on his
secret watch communicator.
Another door held a big playland for the kids. Peter
begged his parent to go in. They were reluctant, but they
let him have a little fun for a while. Sam and Jane watched
as their son ran toward the playground leaving them behind.
The playground was huge, with a large sandbox. In it was a
large worm; it had to be about 20 feet long, and had seats
on its back for the children to sit in as they rode up and
down through the air.
Everyone could hear the children's laughter. Peter
immediately left his pet and parents behind and ran into
the line for a ride with the sand worm. He could hardly
wait! Once in front of the line, the trainer buckled Peter
and the rest of the kids safely in their seats. Up and down the worm went, splashing sand all over the place.
"Wheeeeeeee!" shouted the children.
Peter was having the time of his life; waving his
hands in the air as his proud parents looked on. After the
fun ride, Peter socialized with the rest of the children.
There he meet a young kid name Zack Bean; he was very
slender and had long, golden blond hair that touched his
shoulders, and big blue hypnotizing eyes. Zack was a very
well-rounded child. He was very outgoing and easily made
friends, and he was always the center of attention.
He also met Nicholas Webster, a very heavy, overweight
child, who was a joy to be around. Nicholas had short black
hair and wore glasses that were held together with a piece
of tape. He wore big, baggy oversized clothing that was
always tripping him or causing him to fall down. No matter
what time of day or night it was, Nicholas was always
eating a banana.
Next was Clara, tall and skinny, with fire-engine red
hair that she kept in two ponytails. She wore dusty old
overalls and miss-matched shoes. Clara was the type of girl
that bullied boys around -- she was not to be messed with.
Then there was Robert Clark, a Beanpole of a child who was
very, very skinny indeed. He was so skinny that he could
hide behind a pole. Robert was an unusual child for being only 10 years old; he was 7 feet tall with slick, greasy
black hair. He wore ripped jeans and shirts and carried 10
watches on both wrists. Robert was more strange than
Last, but not least, there was Benjamin Franklin. He
had a gene disorder that caused fur to grow all over his
body. He was an average-size child with a great appetite
for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- that's all he
ever wanted. As he was covered in fur, no one knew what he
really looked like. He had straight white fur from head to
toe. No matter what he put on, the fur poked out. It didn’t
matter whether it was clothing or a hat; the fur stuck out
and was a pain to work with.
Now Peter had a whole new set of friends to play with.
Back in the land of the living, he had had a hard time
making friends. But here in Baja, it was much easier for
him. Peter's parents were so proud to see their son finally
make friends and being a normal kid.
Suddenly, the horn blew very loudly, and down came a
big floating pirate ship out of the sky. The kids began to
scream with excitement.
"It's Captain Johnny!" one of the kids shouted.
Peter was a little awestruck once again for he had
never seen anything like this before in his life. The pirate ship was huge. It flashed through the sky like a
bird moving vigorously back and forth. This was a big brown
ship of some sort with crewmen onboard waving their swords
at the kids. Peter went over to Robert and asked him about
the ship. Robert told him that this was the best ride in
Baja, and that Captain Johnny rides were the best.
Peter's parents ran over, fearing the worst. He ran to
meet them, and told them that this was a kids’ ride and
there was nothing to be worried about. As his parents were
leaving, Dingo, Peter's pet, jumped on his shoulder wanting
to go with him.
"All right, boy, you can go with me," Peter said to
Dingo as he rubbed his head.
The children watched as the pirate ship came down.
This was a huge vessel, made of deep maple red wood. The
ship had to be at least 100 feet long. There were missiles
and cannons onboard that shot out fireworks. Its long white
sails fluttered in the winds. The ship came hovering down.
The children began to scream, "Captain! Captain!
Captain!" as they chanted for his quick arrival.
As the ship landed, a well-built man came forward in
his captain's outfit. He had a patch over one eye, and he
wore a red bandanna with the outline of a skull and
crossbones. His goatee came down to his stomach, and his long white hair was braided into one long braid with beads
and sea shells throughout it.
As the children chanted his name, Captain Johnny came
forward raised his hands to the sky, and did backflips over
and over. The kids loved him.
"All aboard, all aboard," Captain Johnny said.
The kids climbed up into the vessel. Peter had a
nervous look on his face. He grabbed ahold of Dingo, and
off the ship flew, back and forth, swinging higher and
higher. Then the ship spun around and around in circles
with the speed of light. The children screamed with
excitement. This was one of the best times they had ever
had, but poor little Dingo clutched onto Peter's shirt. His
paw-like hands began to tremble.
"It's okay, boy," Peter said like a proud papa
protecting his young.
The kids rode the pirate ship for well over 20
minutes, then they were invited to start the fireworks.
What a blast Peter was having! But it was time to go. Peter
said good-bye to all the new friends he had made, and was
on his way again with the magical flying bird.
The elves came back and greeted the Carrot-Tops, and
they showed the family to their room. It was a huge place
with high ceilings and Victorian decor. Dingo was glad to be on solid ground, and he jumped out of Peter's hand and
onto the floor, rolling and chasing his tail. The Carrot
Tops were told that they would be arriving in Baja any
minute, and that they needed to spruce up a bit. They
complied and changed into clothing made for royalty.
Peter wore a silk lace suit that was all white, and on
his head was a crown. His clothing had the same mystical
symbols as everything else in Baja. His parents were also
dressed in all white with crowns that graced their heads.
They looked like a true royal family.
Then in came a servant snapping pictures and taking
them away quickly. The family began to get nervous, not
knowing what they were up against. Then a loud sounding
alarm began to blow. Peter ran to the window and saw a
beautiful sight. It was the land of Baja, very colorful and
unique. Trees were 100 feet tall or taller, and there were
beanstalks that giants were sliding down. As Peter looked
over to the right, he could see a group of colorful birds
flying back and forth with welcome signs in their beaks.
The sun was shining brightly, and there were chariots
flying through the sky carrying kings, queens, and
descendants of royalty. Peter called over his parents, and
they rushed to the window. They had not seen Baja in so
long. Jane began to cry. Baja was a beautiful mystical land where the impossible co-existed with the possible.
"What's wrong, Mother?" Peter asked as he saw Jane
She explained to him that she was the one that grew
all of those flowers and trees, and that her magical gifts
were the reason plants flourished. Peter told his mother
that he was so proud of her.
Down below, Sam could also see the empires that he
helped build. Because of Sam’s magical ability to move
objects of any size, he was sought after to build a massive
empire for the elders. The family embraced each other as
the door opened and a servant walked in and stated that
they were in Baja, and their royal presence was needed.
Peter was excited and was the first Carrot-Top to the
door. As the servant opened it, they were greeted by armed
guards. They were dressed in all black with their faces
covered. The same mystical symbols glittered on their
clothing. They each carried a secret weapon. One had a
silver sword that could stretch 10 feet long. The next had
a ball that created explosions, and the last one had a
golden bow and arrow. Peter stared the three guards up and
down, trying to see if they would look at him, but they
never did. They were focused and never talked or made a
move unless the Carrot-Tops did so first. Off they went; they were led by two elves through a
big double door. They were so huge that the Carrot-Tops had
to look all the way up to see the door handles. The door
was solid gold with different secret codes scattered all
over it. The door had two big lion heads that looked like
they were moving.
The family kept moving and looking over their
shoulders. As they came closer to the door, it began to
open. A beaming bright light came through the crack of the
opening, blinding the family. They quickly put their hands
over their faces and proceeded through the door.
At first the family could only see the bright beam of
white light, and then it subsided. They were now in an
arena filled with millions of people from all over the
world. It was so beautiful, with large marble pillars
throughout the arena. The pillars were covered with
beautiful mystical drawings, and there were large statues
of kings and queens and many famous rulers.
There were also thousands of army men made out of
carved marble stone that circled around the entire arena.
The top of the arena had a dome that had Christian
paintings on it, including the birth of Jesus, the baptism
and many more.
“That must have taken years to paint,” Peter said to his father.
People began to clap for the family as they arrived in
the arena; it was a royal celebration. There was
entertainment such as juggling and magic tricks. People
were holding up signs and banners that welcomed the royal
family’s return. The Carrot-Tops were modest and quickly
tried to settle the crowd down, but it did not work. There
had not been a magical child born in 10 years. As Peter
looked over his shoulder to the right, there were tables
upon tables of gifts and presents, all wrapped in pretty
paper and big bows.
After a few minutes of being surprised, the Carrot
Tops were escorted to their seats. They were made of gold
and had the finest feather pillows for cushions. Then a man
appeared out of nowhere on the large stage. He introduced
himself as Mr. Patric Stewart. He was very well groomed,
and his suit had the look and work of a professional
tailor. Mr. Stewart had no hair on his head; he was
completely bald. He was a man for getting down to business.
He cleared his throat and gave a welcome speech to
introduce the Carrot-Tops. "In ten years there has never
been a child born with gifts outside of Baja, and our world
depends on the resources of the gifted ones.”
The speech was long and touching. Patric told the crowd that the Carrot-Tops would be staying in Baja and to
treat them as their own family. For the most part, many of
the millions of visitors were satisfied, but there were a
few that whispered about the authenticity of the family
returning to Baja.
Mr. Stewart shared that the family had gone through
their share of betrayals and that in time, everything would
be returned to right. The crowd clapped and cheered,
balloons began to fly into the air. It was a big day in
Baja, very festive and joyous. After the speech, he came
over and greeted the Carrot-Tops. Sam and Jane knew him
very well; he was the one that kicked them out of Baja many
years ago. Mr. Stewart was very humble in his apology, but
he was still skeptical about Peter's powers. This was
something he had only heard about and not seen for himself.
He walked over to Peter and requested to see his
powers. Sam was upset about the request, but Mr. Stewart
reminded the Carrot-Tops that if they wanted to make it in
Baja, they would have to prove that Peter was a gifted
child. Very reluctantly Sam gave in, but he was still very
disappointed by Mr. Stewart’s request.
"It's okay, Father. I’ll do it," Peter proclaimed.
Mr. Stewart got the crowd's attention to watch a
miracle in action. The air was thick, and in that big arena, you could hear a pin drop. Suddenly Peter held his
hand to the ground. The dust began to fly and the earth
began to shake. The crowd was frightened to see the power
of a little boy in action.
Peter’s orange hair began to flap in the wind,
vigorously swaying back and forth. Suddenly huge chunks of
rock and earth began to fly up and into the air. With
lightning speed, a whirlwind erupted. As the dust finally
settled, there was a gigantic hole the same size as the
arena. When the crowd looked down, there was nothing but
Peter, his family and Mr. Stewart were standing on a
little chunk of rock; there was nothing else left. Mr.
Stewart looked down into the hole and saw nothing. It was
like this hole was a never ending abyss. Then, suddenly, he
leapt off the side of the rock and into the hole.
The crowds screamed at the top of their lungs, and
then went silent. Sam and Jane feared the worst -- that Mr.
Stewart was gone for good. But then, he suddenly appeared,
brushing the dirt from his shoulders. He raised his hands
to the crowd, letting them know that he was okay. Mr.
Stewart leaned over and told the Carrot-Tops that they had
one special child.
Sam smiled, but deep down he knew there was more to Mr. Stewart’s comments than he let on. After all, this was
the man that kicked them out of Baja. The crowd was roaring
and cheering for Peter, and they kept calling his name.
A big, wide grin graced Peter’s face. He was a happy
boy because he was in a land that appreciated him for who
he was. Sam and Jane rushed over to hug him. After the
show, there were parades and all-night festivities. Sam
asked Mr. Stewart when they would be in Baja, the main
Mr. Stewart asked, "Why are you so in a rush, my boy?
Enjoy life, because from here on out, you will be proving
yourself to the entire world."
After that, Mr. Stewart walked away, never looking
back at the Carrot-Tops. Sam was puzzled by his comments,
but went along with the fun.
Peter was so happy when he and his parents got to tour
the entire bird ship. He saw the captain’s deck, and met
some very important people of Baja, including wizards,
priests and royalty. It was overwhelming for Peter, but he
handled it like anything else -- he got nervous and his
head swelled like a pumpkin. When this happened, he rushed
out of the room. Jane ran behind her son to comfort him,
and let him know that everything would be okay, while Sam
stayed behind to cover for Peter and Jane. For such a long time, Sam had felt neglected by the
people of Baja. Now he felt like royalty -- a feeling that
only was ten years in the making. Sam noticed that the
people were more interested in his son than him. After
Peter left the room, the royal members of society did not
want to talk to Sam. They began to shun him over and over
again. One royal member confided to Sam that his son was
the only reason he was invited back to Baja.
Sam was feeling unwanted and that Peter was the only
reason they were there. He burst through the crowd, pushing
and shoving with anger. He began to yell for his wife like
a crazy man.
"Jane, Jane, let's go!" Sam shouted.
She came running, with Peter at her side. Sam
explained to her that they were only there because of
Peter, and that they might be hanged when they arrived in
Baja. Jane tried to calm him down, but it did no good; Sam
was ready to leave, and leave now.
He ordered the captain to turn around, but he
explained to Sam that they were riding on a magical rainbow
and couldn't turn back because the rainbows were erased by
sweeping angels. The captain told Sam that, after the
elders had been in slumber, the world of Baja was under
attack and easily penetrated, so they had to come up with a way to disguise the route to the main inlands of Baja.
Deep down in Sam's heart, he wanted to go back home,
but on the other hand, he wanted to stay and confront his
fears. Sam flopped down onto a chair with his eyes covered
by his hands, "What, have I done to deserve this?" Sam
Jane ran over to Sam and gave him a big hug, putting
her fingers on his lips, motioning for him not to speak.
Peter ran over and gave them both a big hug. The family
stayed hugging for a while, and then they got up refreshed.
A loud horn blew, signaling that the ship had arrived on
the main land of Baja.
The crowd of people could be heard un-boarding the
ship. Peter and his family were guided by the elves to
retrieve their belongings. He saw the friends he’d made
getting off and waved to them.
"See you soon," said Peter as his new friends waved
The elves reminded the Carrot-Tops to have their
passports ready. As the family gathered up their few
belongings, they headed to the door. People were pointing
and whispering that they were the royal family, and some
wanted autographs and pictures. The family felt a little
strange doing this, but they did it to please the people of Baja. All the young kids wanted Peter's autograph. His
father told him not to let the fame go to his head, and to
know who his true friends were. As the passengers lined up,
a voice came over the air telling them to pull out all
passports and get ready to be scanned.
The Carrot-Tops held up their passports and a beam of
white light scanned their entire bodies. No one coming into
Baja would be left un-scanned, no matter who they were or
their rank. Dingo was also scanned, poor little animal. He
was so afraid of the scans, but Peter kept talking to him,
letting his little friend know that it would be all right.
During the phase of the white light, the scanner could
tell everything about a person, from their age to their
health, even the length of their hair. Everything went well
going through the scanner for the Carrot-Top family.
Finally, they were home! Tears began to well up in
Sam's eyes. Peter watched as his parent’s facial
expressions showed so much pain. He could not do anything
for them, but feel their pain. One more step and the
Carrot-Tops were on land. Peter looked back to wave to the
captain on the bridge and the people leaving. He looked
around as he saw family after family hugging and kissing
Baja was a beautiful place with countless waterfalls, and large animals co-existed with humans and other species.
There were large beanstalks that giants slid down. Children
raced their seahorses in the rivers and twenty rainbows in
the sky gave off a multicolored glow. The trees walked, and
sang and talked to the citizens of Baja. There were birds
as big as houses filling the entire sky. There were huge
statues throughout the land, some reached the clouds. Every
statue in Baja had a meaning, whether it was of a mighty
warrior or to educate the people.
Baja had its fair share of icons. There were golden
gates, bridges, and rivers that ran through the town
bringing fresh fish and food to the people. Most of the
streets were made of mud bricks. Shops were everywhere.
There was every store a child could imagine -- toy stores,
train stores, games store -- you name it, Baja had it.
There were millions of residents that called Baja home,
walking about the streets going about their daily lives.
Peter couldn't wait to get into the swing of things.
He wanted to start enjoying his new home. "Where is our
family?" he asked his parents.
Both Sam and Jane looked around, hoping someone would
come forward and claim them, but no one did. They hailed a
cab, and just as it was coming, an older gentleman shouted
"Sam, Sam, my son!" Sam and Jane quickly turned around. They looked
puzzled. They could not recall the face for the life of
"Yes?" Sam asked.
The man explained that he was Sam's father.
"Father!" said Sam, as he ran up to the man stroking
his long beard and pale skin.
"What happened to you, Sam?" asked his father, David.
"Your mother and I were also banned from Baja. We had to
work in the hot underground tunnels as our punishment for
having a failure as a son.”
David explained that they had been kicked out of Baja
after Sam had. David let Sam know that his mother was
barely holding on, and today was the first time they had
seen daylight. Sam became very angry, and he blamed
himself. He told his father he would straighten everything
Peter began to pull on his father's coat tail. "What
"Oh! Father, I would like to introduce you to your
grandson, Peter," Sam replied.
"You are the one that wizards and witches are talking
about," said David.
"Witches?" Peter mumbled. David told his grandson not to be afraid of evil, but
by the look in Peter's eyes, he was still afraid. Then Jane
came forward and stretched out her hands for a hug.
"Oh! Jane, my beautiful daughter-in–law," cried David
as they hugged.
Peter noticed that a strange man was watching them
from across the street, but when he turned around to tell
his father, the man was gone, vanished into thin air.
Peter's eyes began to bulge out and he looked vigorously
from side to side. But the man was nowhere to be found, so
he never told his parents anything else about what he had
David quickly looked around and told his son that he
would take him home.
"Home?" Sam replied.
"Yes, home," said his father.
David explained to Sam and his family that their house
was never destroyed; the house was put onto the house farm.
"House farm?" asked Peter.
"Yes, a house farm," said Grandpa David.
Jane and Sam explained to Peter that when any citizen
was facing punishment of any sort, all their belongings,
including their house, were stored on the house farm. Then,
when that individual was set free, he or she went to the farm and requested their belongings.
"Let's go," said Peter.
Grandpa David just laughed and was happy to have his
family back. As they were leaving, a group of royal
soldiers came and stopped the family. There were five
soldiers in all, dressed in all white uniforms and top
hats. They explained to the Carrot-Tops that because they
were important citizens of Baja, they would be escorted
everywhere. One of the soldiers pointed to their beautiful
transportation. It was all white, and had wings like a bird
and eight wheel tiers. Brown leather covered the seats
The transportation was new and shiny. Peter was about
to run over to see it until his mother pulled him back.
"No! We do not need your charity. We will make it on
our own," said Jane.
Then the Carrot-Tops walked away, leaving the
"That fixed them!" said Grandpa David, and the family
went off to find their home. Chapter 5
Peter watched out of the wagon window. As they rode
down so many roads, people were waving and saying, "Welcome
back." Some even stopped the wagon to get a glimpse at the
"You're a very special young man," said Grandpa David.
Peter just smiled with a large grin on his face.
Baja was so beautiful with golden rain and purple and
yellow clouds. The bears that roamed the hillsides were as
big as houses, but they were very gentle creatures. There
were even trees that grew popcorn! Peter and his family
stopped as they saw a tree getting ready to start popping.
"Oh boy!" said Peter.
The family just laughed, running to the tree like kids
in a candy store. Jane kept her mouth open to catch the
popcorn while Grandpa David and Peter made snow angels in
the popcorn. Sam sat back and watched his family have the
time of their lives. After eating until their hearts were
content, the family sat by the tree and caught up on old
times. Sam was very reluctant to ask his father about his
brother Marcus. Marcus was a bad seed. From the time he was born, he was very mischievous and rude, always blaming
everything on Sam. Besides, Marcus was the one who turned
his own brother in to the royal authorities for losing the
eighth key, even though he’d had a hand in it.
David shied away from the question of where Marcus
was. Finally he said, "Your brother has gone to the other
side. He sold the family out and went to work for the seven
wizards." Tears started to form in David's eyes as he
thought about his child fighting on the side of evil.
Sam was in shock. He began to pace back and forth,
asking his father, “Why?” over and over again.
David went on to tell his son that Marcus was so drawn
in by the key and the power that it held that he was
willing to risk his life for it. So, he found someone that
would let him divide and conquer -- the seven wizards. They
were a small group of men, women, and children that had
powerful magic spells, and so far, no one could stop or
undo them. This group could flow in and out of Baja without
notice. Since the elders were in hibernation, the citizens
of Baja were no match for those evil forces.
David went on to tell Sam that Marcus was also kicked
out of the boundaries of Baja, but not Baja completely,
like Sam and his family were. Because Marcus turned Sam in,
the elders showed him leniency and made him live on the outside of Baja.
Sam was very hurt and didn't want that road for his
brother, but Marcus chose power instead of family. Now Sam
felt like it was his duty to stop his brother, because
whatever he was planning would soon come into effect.
Sam and his father continued watching Jane and Peter
have fun in the popcorn field, and then they were ready to
leave. Peter and Dingo had one last run around the field
and one last taste of mouth-watering popcorn. Back in the
buggy the family went. Peter stared out the window waiting
to reach the house farm. Jane and Sam looked anxious.
"A few more feet and we're there," shouted Grandpa
Suddenly the buggy pulled up to a metallic gate made
entirely of gold. They rode up to a guard shack and signed
in to see their home again. The guard bowed to them and
told them he was glad to see them back. As the gate opened,
they saw an amazing sight, house upon house, there were
even houses stacked on each other all the way up to the sky.
"Which one is ours?" shouted Peter.
"I don't know," Jane replied.
The family marched on and went up to the help desk.
The lady looked the family over and over, out of the corner
of her eyes. She was very snooty and rude to the CarrotTops.
"Well, where is your passport? I must verify you are
who you say you are," said the lady.
The family showed their passports with plenty of
objections from Grandpa David. "They don't have to show
anything," he said with an angry voice.
But the lady took their information anyway, walked
over to the computer and did a few searches. "Here, I have
found your house," said the snobbish woman as she ripped a
piece of paper out of the machine and handed it to Sam.
Sam was not too pleased by the lady's attitude, but he
gently took the paper out of her hand. His face was filled
with anger to see the citizens praise them one minute and
mistreat them the next. The family was escorted to the
sorting field by a security guard. The guard apologized to
the family for his coworker's attitude and told Sam and his
family that he still believed in Sam. He also said that
Baja would be set free and the elders would wake again.
With a smile on his face, the security guard took the keys
out of his pocket and opened the main gate to the house
The family stood on a ledge that was about 200 feet
tall and watched as houses were checked in and out of
storage. It was like going to the store and buying a house off the shelves. The houses were on a large belt that moved
back and forth. There were big houses and little houses all
in line to either be stored or un-stored. After the houses
reached their destination, workers pulled them off the
line. The movement was so in sync that even Grandpa David
Peter held onto his father's coattail as he looked all
the way down. There were thousands of houses as far as the
eye could see. Peter and his family were a long way up,
they could even see other families buying or retrieving
their homes. Suddenly the belt stopped and Peter's eyes
"Is that our house, Father?" asked Peter.
"Yes, sweetheart, it is ours, totally untouched," said
The image of the house was in 3-D. With a turn of a
golden dial, the guard let the family see every aspect of
their home the way they’d left it. The house was huge, like
a royal palace. There was a courtyard, tennis court,
swimming pool, and a royal garden where the birds were
still humming and flying around. Jane's touch was
everywhere. There were huge plants the size of hills that
wound up to the sky. There was also a Beanstalk that never
seemed to end; it just kept going and going. Goldfish were frozen in the pond waiting to be thawed. Peter's eyes grew
bigger and bigger as he saw all that the home had to offer.
The guard told the Carrot-Tops to go inside and check
everything out to make sure it was the way they’d left it.
It was like stepping back in time for the family;
everything seemed to be in slow motion. Sam was overcome
with emotion, and so were Jane and the rest of the family.
Sam trembled as he went near the door to turn the knob. For
a minute, he could not do it; it was too overwhelming for
Grandpa David placed his hands on his son's shoulder
assuring him that everything would be okay. Sam took in a
deep breath and exhaled slowly. He closed his eyes and
opened the door with a quick turn of the wrist. Dingo
suddenly jumped out of Peter's pocket and ran into the
house. Jane was upset, and she told Peter to leave Dingo in
the wagon. But Peter didn't listen, and off Dingo went,
leaping and hopping up and down the stairs. Peter was right
on his heels, but Jane was angry, truly not at Peter, but
at all the time they had lost.
Sam, Jane and Grandpa David slowly entered the house.
The family walked through the massive hallways and into the
entertainment room, where Jane rubbed her hands over the
furniture, reminiscing about the good times they’d had. She sat on the edge of the sofa and looked over the pictures on
the table. One was of Peter as a baby and the others were
friends and family. Back in the good old days, Jane was a
well respected socialite. Every afternoon, ladies would
come over either to gossip or talk about life in Baja. Jane
missed those days.
Because everything was frozen in time, the home was
the way they had left it. Jane continued to walk off by
herself into the kitchen where water was still boiling on
the stove and the ice box was open just as the housekeepers
had left it. Then she walked out to her favorite place, the
garden. The plants and trees were still alive, only frozen
Jane stopped to pet a bird that was at a standstill.
She could she the bird's eyes moving, but the bird could
not move. "Soon I will set you free, little one," she said
to the bird.
Everything in the house and its surroundings would be
frozen in time until the family moved it out of the house
farm. Jane walked through the house looking from room to
room and so did Sam.
Sam found his office, and sat back in the leather
chair, reminiscing about all the projects he had left
unfinished. He took off his glasses and burst into tears. The pain was so great that he slid out of the chair and
fell to his knees asking, “Why?” His tears would tear at
the heart of any human. Sam stayed on the floor until he
got himself together. He finally got the nerve to get up
and look around. There were papers all over his office
flying in slow motion through the air with a timeless touch.
On one paper, Sam could see some of his work. Before
he was kicked out, he was in the process of creating the
finest and toughest army for Baja. There were sketch
drawings of animals, great and small, wearing armored
silver-plated suits. There were animals that were half
human and half horse carrying bows and arrows. Sam gently
pushed the paper aside as it moved through the air in slow
Down the hall, Sam could hear Jane rumbling, so he
went to see what all the racket was about. "Honey, are you
all right?" he called out to her.
"Yes, dear," Jane replied.
Sam watched as his wife stared at the nursery they had
for Peter before he was born. Everything was still intact
-- from the finest cotton blanket, to the crib made of the
finest maple. The room was covered in toys that were gifts
from the Carrot-Tops’ family and friends. Teddy bears great
and small lined the wall. There were train sets that went “choo-choo” around the room. It seemed just like yesterday
to Jane. She put her hands over her eyes and began to weep.
To the Carrot-Tops, it seemed like their lives had been
"We must go, honey," Sam said gently.
As they walked through the doors of the courtyard,
they could hear Peter having fun with Dingo. Water was
splashing with the slow movement of time, and leaves gently
glided through the air.
Jane shouted to Peter, “Come on. We must be going.”
Sam realized that his father was nowhere to be found.
They searched the entire area of the courtyard until they
found him in his favorite place, his gift shop. Grandpa
David was a special man with the skill of making and
producing the finest toys for all the little children
throughout the land. He made antique dolls and train sets.
There were kites and teddy bears everywhere. Sam watched as
his father touched his past.
Grandpa David was overwhelmed by all that he had lost,
and yet he was looking at the past. Sam placed his hands on
his father's shoulder letting him know not to worry. He
promised his father that he would make everything all
right. Although they could not start over, he would make
the rest of their lives worth living again. Grandpa patted his son on the shoulders and said,
"Sam, this is not your fault. This is the way of the
The family got their emotions together and headed out
of the door. They continued to look back at a place they
once called home.
"Is everything intact?" the guard asked.
"Yes," said Sam.
The guard then processed the paperwork and a huge
train came out of the clouds with a loud “choo-choo.” It
had to be at least 200 feet long, and there were other
houses and property on it. The train was red and silver,
and its paint sparkled in the sun’s rays.
The guard gave the workers the okay to load the house
and take it out of frozen time. With a few pushes of the
buttons, the house was out of the bubble of time, and
loaded onto the train. The guard notified the family that
the house would be delivered to their old address, 511
Cherry Street. With so much emotion built up, the family
only could nod their heads to answer the guard.
"Wow, that train is great!" shouted Peter.
The guard just smiled at Peter, and off the family
went out the door and through the tall gates of the house
farm to their waiting wagon. As the family loaded up, a huge group of people were waiting, just to get a glimpse of
the family. News had spread far and wide to the
countrysides, and even in the heavens. Everyone knew the
Carrot-Tops were back in town, but the family had so many
other important things on their minds, like finding Sam's
mother and Jane's family. Off they went, the sun was soon
to go down, and they wanted to make it off the roads and
home before nightfall.
The ride was long, but the sights were wonderful for
their eyes. The family remembered how great and beautiful
Baja was. There were unicorns grazing in an open field, and
then flying up in the clouds whenever they heard people
coming. There were also purple, yellow, green and red
horses being sold at an outdoor auction. Peter stood up in
his seat because this was so amazing to his young eyes.
As they got closer to where Grandpa David and the
others stayed, a feeling of gloom came over the family. It
was as if a dark cloud just passed over and stayed in that
one spot. The scene was so depressing; Dingo clawed Peter's
shirt out of fear. The trees and flowers were dying,
turning ash gray in color.
Peter watched as the trees tried to move, but their
roots would break from years of rotting. The screams the
trees made were heart wrenching. Everyone in the wagon covered their ears.
"Just a few more feet," said Grandpa David.
By the look on everyone's faces, no one wanted to be
there. They were disgusted. As the wagon went closer into a
deep forest, hundreds of people came running out. Most of
them had their hands out, begging for food or anything.
Grandpa David pushed them out of the way and introduced
them to his family.
One lady burst out and said, "Because of you, Sam, we
are here. We were your loyal servants and got punished for
Sam had no words to say but sorry, but the people did
not accept his apology. For years they had suffered for
Sam's sins against the elders. He got out and stood on a
hilltop, and told the people he would make everything all
right. Right now, he had to find his mother. Grandpa David
pointed in the direction of his wife. Under a tree sat an
old lady, worn out, and her clothing was dingy and old. She
continuously coughed and held her chest. Her hair was in
"Mother! Mother!" Sam called out.
"Who is playing games?" the frail voice answered back.
Sam went to his mother and held her hands letting her know
he was back. "My son, I knew you would not forget us," said Sam's mom Dorothy.
Jane, Peter, Dingo and Grandpa David joined in on the
family reunion. They hugged and kissed. Dorothy was glad to
see Jane, and for the first time was introduced to her
grandson, Peter. Dorothy told Sam about how they had
suffered in the hot underground tunnels as punishment for
Sam's sins. She spoke of the abuse, the hunger, and the
many cold nights. Sam was not only angered by what his
mother was saying, but also by the knowledge that his
brother Marcus had not been any help to them.
By Dorothy's accounts, Marcus let the authorities take
them away because, for many years, he felt Sam got special
treatment from his mother and father. Dorothy said she
loved both of them, and Marcus was jealous of all the power
Sam had, from running his own armed forces to making sure
the citizens of Baja was well taken care of. Everyone in
Baja respected Sam, and Marcus felt as if he had to walk in
Sam told his parents that he had to get them out of
the dark and depressing forest, but his parents did not
want to leave unless everyone was leaving.
"Honey, we have a house with thousands of rooms,” Jane
said. “We will get all of them on their feet and then they
can move on with their lives." Sam quickly agreed. He then stood on the hilltop once
again and told the people of his plans. Some were
reluctant, but many others were willing to go. Anything
would be better than being poor and homeless. The crowd
began to gather up their few belongings and was ready to
start walking to Sam and Jane's mansion. But before they
could leave, Jane had one thing to do.
Her heart would not allow her to leave the trees and
flowers in a rotting state. She gathered her strength
together and touched the largest tree in the center of the
forest. It gave root to all the trees near and far. Jane's
hair began to blow in the wind; she could feel the trees'
pain, and she saw all the horrors they had seen. With all
her might, she pushed her hands toward the trees and let
her powers flow. Within minutes, the trees stopped crying
and screaming. Their leaves began to turn green; their
roots began to have life again. Fruit began to appear, and
so did the animals that once fled. This was so overwhelming
for Jane that she passed out.
Sam and the family ran to her side and picked her up.
As Sam was leaving with Jane's lifeless body, a deep voice
came from the trees, "We will always be at your service,"
and then the voice disappeared.
Birds started to make their nests in the trees and the dark clouds suddenly moved away. The forest was once more
bright and inviting again. Birds sang and the trees and
Beanstalks began to grow. Wow! How amazing Jane's powers
were to the people watching.
Sam and the other men carried Jane and the older women
to the wagon, while the strong and young walked behind.
Dorothy began to fan Jane with a torn piece of paper.
Little by little, Jane began to open up her eyes, but she
was still weak. She began to mumble about all the pain she
saw, and how a war was coming. No one really paid attention
to what she was saying. They just wanted to get her home
safe and sound.
Peter and Dingo began to make new friends as the older
adults worried about grown-up concerns. This was a time of
fun and excitement for Peter, not only did he get to stay
up later, but he got to have fun doing it.
Little did they know that they were being watched by a
group of trolls, maybe eight to ten of them. They stood
four feet tall. Their bodies were gray with white polka
dots, and their eyes were long and slanted. They had thin
lips and large razor teeth. These creatures constantly
drooled and slobbered all over the place. They smelled
horrible, and to most people, they were disgusting. The
townspeople called them Goonies. They watched every move made by the Carrot-Tops. It was apparent that they were
reporting to someone. The Goonies made sure to keep out of
sight, but not to lose contact with the family.
Dingo knew something was wrong; his animal senses
began to tell him another creature was somewhere close. He
began to tug on Peter's shirt.
"Down, boy," said Peter, but Dingo kept on until Peter
finally paid him some attention.
When Peter knelt down to Dingo to see what was the
matter, Dingo stuck his fingers out pointing in the
direction of the noise. The Goonies were hiding behind a
great big bunch of trees.
Peter sensed something was wrong and put his hands to
the floor. Suddenly the earth began to shake, and his
orange hair began to blow back and forth like a whirlwind.
His eyes were fixed on the target. Holes started appearing
out of nowhere, big ones and small ones. One by one, the
Goonies began to scream as they fell deep into the holes.
The adults came running.
"What's the matter, Peter?" Sam asked.
Peter explained that they were being watched and he
had caught the perpetrators in the hole. Sam pushed Peter
aside and held an oil lamp above the hole. A creature
jumped toward Sam and startled him, but the hole was too deep for the creature to escape. Everyone started to gather
around the rim, watching the creature's every move.
"These creatures are from a dark side,” said Grandpa
Sam reached out, grabbed the creature, and it began to
shiver and turned into a ball. "Who are you?" Sam asked the
"We are your brother's keepers," the creature replied.
Sam knew then that his brother was up to no good and
they had to hurry. He told his son to close up the hole
with the creatures inside, and so Peter did. With the power
in his hands, he conjured up the dirt, and buried the
creatures inside. The people were amazed once again by
Peter's powers, but there were also a few jealous ones in
the crowd. Some people clapped, and some snickered in
As the group continued to walk on, Sam and his father
had a long talk. David told Sam that his brother was way