A RHUBARB that once lived in a grocery store was so talented in telling lies that the other fruit and vegetables had a really hard time suspecting.
“Since you’re so good at telling lies, why don’t you become an actor?”, the parsley, who really loved theater but lacked talent, suggested one day. So, he asked him to cooperate: the parsley would grant him access to his open theater in which he performed plays, and the rhubarb would get the leading role in a play they would choose together. The rhubarb agreed with no hesitation, even feeling excited at the idea he would be given the chance to lie in front of a crowd.
So it happened. They decided to put on the classic fairy tale of “Little Red Riding Hood”. After rehearsing the script, they handed over invitations to the other fruit and vegetables. Used to seeing the untalented parsley getting ridiculed on stage, they laughed to read the invitations, even finding it weird that another vegetable was to be found wishing to become famous like the parsley.
Nevertheless, on the big day, they all showed up, even watching the rhubarb play Red Riding Hood with great interest. So excited were they even, that as soon as the play ended, they gave them both a big round of applause and advised the rhubarb to keep acting. “You were very convincing against that big bad wolf”, they told him, and the rhubarb felt proud. So thrilled did he even get by their applause that he thought of himself as a great actor.
He agreed on a second play. This time, they chose the much-loved fairy tale of Pinocchio and the rhubarb got thrilled in the idea of playing the leading role, that is, Pinocchio, to the point where he also handed… signed autographs along with the invitations. This time, the fruit and vegetables thought he was indeed some famous actor and flocked to the theater to see him act.
“He’s a natural talent!”, they whispered to each other as the rhubarb walked on stage, wearing a big fake nose made of wood so as to resemble the puppet of the well-known fairy tale. As soon as the parsley appeared on stage, however, dressed up as Geppetto, the rhubarb lost his words and started talking nonsense, as he had spent more time on writing invitations and autographs than in learning his words by heart.
“I’m still a great actor…”, the rhubarb justified himself to the other fruit and vegetables when they burst into laughter to see him lose his words. They, then, stood up and started booing him for being over the top. As the parsley was used to being ridiculed on stage, he instantly ran to the backstage to hide, leaving the rhubarb alone.
The rhubarb then got so ashamed that he covered his face with his hands. Seeing they had both abandoned the play, one after the other the fruit and vegetables returned to the grocery store. The rhubarb then went for a walk in the garden and sat at the root of a tree, where he cried for his misfortune. “The more dangerous lies are those you tell yourself”, an owl gently whispered to his ear, and the rhubarb got really troubled to hear it.
After thinking it over and over, he returned to the grocery store, promising to himself never to lie again, be it on stage or in real life.