Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Fight to the Death

WILLOW'S MAGPIE NO. 55

The orange and lemon were lying side by side in the fruit bowl. There wasn't much to do, except lie around and argue about which of them was the more useful, more important, more widely travelled, and allround champion. 

"You're no better than me", said the orange, who thought that she'd win easily, being very fruity and full of herself. "In fact, I think I have the advantage over you because I can be peeled and eaten fresh, straight from the tree, whereas you are a sour, acidy little thing nobody in their right mind would want to eat raw. Ever heard the expression 'sucking on a lemon' ? That tells you all you need to know, doesn't it?"

The lemon was hurt and thought hard and long. True, nobody had ever complimented him on his gorgeous taste, but he was bright and shiny, like sunlight at its most intense. That must count for something.

When he mentioned that, the orange laughed. "My sunlight is hotter than yours, an orange sun burns brighter than a yellow sun". "We both come from the Far East, we have both been around since before the Crusades, we are both called citrus, so you can't trump me that way", the orange continued. "Besides, I can not only be eaten raw but I also make delicious juice, jelly, conserves, marmalade, syrup and salad".

The lemon cheered up when he heard that.  Not only could he become everything the orange had claimed for herself,  - well, maybe nobody really wanted to eat him in a salad except as part of the vinaigrette, but, hey, when it came to food, he definitely had the necessary zest, and to spare.

"I'll have you know, you pathetic, useless little upstart, that I have been used by the greatest chefs in history", he bragged, "let me remind you of chicken with lemon, fresh and preserved, duck with lemon, every kind of fish with lemon, lemon meringue pie, lemon tart, lemon drizzle cake." He was on a roll now."And how about every bit of me, from zest to juice, top to toe, in marinades, stuffings, sorbets, butters, creams, custards and curds. 

The orange was silent; there was duck and orange, of course, and orange curd; but she was unlikely to be used in quite as many dishes as the lemon obviously was. Both their skins were turned into candied peel, there was no point mentioning that.

The lemon had won the argument. There was nothing for it, the honourable thing to do was to admit defeat, and commit hara-kiri. They'd both be disembowelled soon enough anyway.

As  a member of the blood orange family her death stained fruit bowl, the instrument she'd used and the lemon itself the colour of blood. 



42 comments:

  1. You're too clever.. what a unique take on this image. And good laughs, to boot.

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  2. Goodness!! I'd better check the fruit drawer in my fridge...

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  3. An imaginative dark treatise on the
    heartbreak of being citrus, on the
    racist tendencies we share with them.
    And a terrific take on the bloody
    lemon prompt by Tess.
    I did hear that the lime was green
    with envy, and sad that it had been
    left out of your tale.

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  4. What do they call a gay bar
    that has no chairs?

    A fruit stand.

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  5. Did you hear the one about the
    lemon, the lime, and the orange
    that walked into a bar?
    Me neither, but it appears
    you could write the joke,
    the fable, the story, with ease,
    wit, good cheer, skill, and
    heartfelt omniscient reporting.

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  6. I'm never going to look at the fruit bowl in quite the same way.

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  7. And I'd thought, up till now, oranges and lemons were the best of friends - or at least according to the bells of St Clements. Just shows you can't trust those bells - despite what Rilke says. Though can't contrasting also be complementary? Nevertheless - a great fable, Friko! Bittersweet, bittersweet.

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  8. This certainly took quite an imagination. Wonder of wonders it made me both smile and be hungry!

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  9. Oh my goodness...where did that come from?
    It was delightful.
    I never will let lemon and orange together again

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  10. Friko, I love your whimsical sense of humor. Well-written! My favorite was the way you used the word "trump." Clever!

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  11. ha. i love it...now that is a food fight...hari kari...lol...dont worry i will clean it up...i love blood oranges...

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  12. I was feeling so sad for the little lemon and disliking the bully orange. Love the way you turned it around.
    And the moral is----

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  13. Wonderful, Friko! A delicious story!
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  14. Why, who would have ever thought that fruit had such acid tongues?

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  15. What a juicy story!truly very clever!!

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  16. well done, my dear, well done.

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  17. I'd say this one was a knock out. Fabulous humour, love the perspectives.

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  18. wow, eine hervorragende Fantasie, wie nur Du sie Dir ausdenken kannst!

    Dir einen sehr schönen sonnigen Tag!

    Renée

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  19. Good fun! (well, maybe except for the orange).

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  20. Oh I love it Friko. A story with real zing to it!

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  21. They'd both be disembowelled soon enough anyway.
    This is a teaching tale for us all. Why can't be just get along?

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  22. My yearning when pregnant was not for ice cream and pickles, but lemons heavily salted. And I still love to eat them. Do you think a lemon would view that as a winning outcome?

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  23. I've gotta keep them in separate bowls from now on.

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  24. Trumped indeed!Excellent tale, well told.

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  25. Methinks I shan't trust the lemons near the oranges again.....

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  26. Blood orange - of course!

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  27. Trumped, yes! And what about ceviche, the only reason needed for Mr. Lemon to win!

    Wonderful. I think you could write about a flake of dandruff and a flake of dust arguing and make it interesting.

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  28. What a zesty story. I think I will take the side of the orange because lemons 'suck'.

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  29. You are so good with words – you play with them and place them in a variety of ways to tell tales. I think you could write a story on any subject – dust, air, light, a pair of gloves or whatever comes to your mind.

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  30. What a fright! I had the feeling this was the work of a blood orange when I first began to read it! Good job on the prompt.

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  31. Darn. I would have thought that...oh, well. Your story is topnotch!

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  32. I just love blood oranges but try hard not to think about the name...I'm a little squeamish. What a clever piece you've written! Just brilliant.

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  33. Love the debating produce, original idea, like it very much.

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  34. Oh, excellent Friko! What a wonderfully imaginative response to the prompt:-)

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  35. Fruit bowl massacre, clever! I love lemon especially in a gin and tonic, a very useful fruit.

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  36. Whooaa!! Lemon had to win hands down!! I don't like oranges anyway ;-)
    Really enjoyed this debate!! At one point, I was almost about to yell at that orange lady!! :)
    Well.. they died with pride alright (at least one of them did.. :))
    A superbly written magpie, Friko!

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  37. Ha ha! You are so clever!

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  38. Great imagery, it flowed easily into my brain! Thanks.

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  39. Friko - you amaze me. You're so witty and entertaining. I wish all these wonderful entries from you were in paperback form. It would make any length journey worth its travel. Bravo!

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