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Peter Carrot-Top by Yolanda Jackson - HTML preview

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Chapter 1
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
needy.
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
school.
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
another word.
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
world.
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
wagon."
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
Oracle.
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
disheveled.
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
dark road.
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
light.
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
composure.
"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
hallway.
"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
bubble.
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
their eardrums.
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
was standing.
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
Peter's father.
"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
Oracle.
"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
of Baja."
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
they went.
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
disappeared.
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
dissolved away.”
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