4.07 Movie Matinee

Shakton Carbohydrate was chatting happily with a jar of paprika in the pantry when someone started calling her name. The voice got closer and soon, two hands appeared on the shelf. The whose head popped up above them but that of Norman Nutrition!

“There you are, Shakton!” he said with a smile.

“Hi there, Norman!” Shakton replied.

“Listen, Shakton, we have a big problem— the Jones family isn’t eating right. They’re only eating donuts, candy, chips, and sodas. We have to do something! I’m calling on all the food groups to help me out. We’re going to show them again.” “Of course I’ll help. We need to teach the Jones to eat properly or else they’ll be sick and overweight,” Shakton answered. “Good! Remember, meet me at the dining room table at supper time with three friends,” Norman said. Then he waved and jumped off the shelf to tell the other food groups about the Jones’ problem. “Bye, Paprika! Duty calls!” Shakton said, waving to his friend before jumping off the shelf like Norman. As Shakton floated down to the floor, he thought about who he should bring to the dining room with him. “The Jones kids are fun and like to play. I should bring some fun friends!”

And with that, Shakton headed to the kitchen.

“Corn has lots of carbs; my friend Corn on the Cob would be perfect for the Jones kids!” Shakton decided and made his way to the refrigerator. Opening the door was a challenge too big for little Shakton, so he had the family dog, Oscar, help her. With his teeth, he pulled on the towel Mrs. Jones kept tied to the refrigerator door handle. The towel stretched for a second, and then the door opened with a whoosh of cool air.

How to open the drawer where Corn on the Cob lived was a harder problem to solve. Eventually, though, Oscar and Shakton figured it out. Oscar held Shakton carefully in his mouth while he grabbed hold of the drawer handle. Then, he pulled and the drawer slid open with a squeak. “Thanks, Oscar,” Shakton called as the dog trotted off.

“Hey, Shakton, is that you?” Corn on the Cob asked from where she sat at the back of the drawer. “Yep, that’s me!” Shakton answered, jumping down into the drawer. Corn on the Cob ran over and hugged her. “I need your help,” Shakton began, returning his friend’s hug. “Of course, anything!”

And so Shakton explained the Jones’ problem. When he finished Corn on the Cob gasped in horror. “Oh, Shakton, that’s awful! What do you need me to do?” she asked. “I need you to come with me to the dining room table to show that it can be fun to eat good foods. We have to be there by supper time, and I still have to pick up to other friends.” “Let’s go, then! What are we waiting for?” Corn on the Cob exclaimed.

As Shakton and Corn on the Cob climbed out of the drawer, Shakton asked his friend who else they should bring along to the dining room. Corn on the Cob paused on the edge of the drawer, thinking, before jumping down onto the floor where Shakton waited. “Mr. and Mrs. Jones might not be interested in fun foods like me at their age…” Corn on the Cob said sadly. “What about BlueBerry? He’s a bit more suited to their fruity pallet,” Shakton suggested. “Good idea,” Corn on the Cob agreed.

Shakton and Corn on the Cob had to ask some of the other inhabitants of the fridge where BlueBerry lived, but eventually, they found out where he usually stayed. It was a small drawer on the very top shelf on the Pantry Door.

From where they stood on the bottom shelf, Shakton and Corn on the Cob looked way, way up to see where he lived. “How are we ever going to get up there?” Corn on the Cob fretted. “We’ll figure out away. After all, I’m not in charge of the Protein food group for nothing!” Shakton encouraged. “Let’s think for a minute and see if we come up with anything,” Corn on the Cob suggested. Shakton agreed, and together they sat with legs crossed, chins resting on one hand, thinking hard.

“I know!” Corn on the Cob suddenly yelled. “Let’s ask Spaghetti for help!” “What a good idea,” Shakton said, and so they went over to the drawer where Mrs. Jones kept all the leftovers. The Leftover Drawer was a dark and scary place. Meatloaf and Lima Beans were not always the very nicest sort of foods, and it was hard to find your way around this drawer. Some foods got lost here, and never saw the light of day again until Mrs. Jones did her once-every-2-months-cleaning-of-the-refrigerator.

However, Spaghetti was a new arrival to this drawer, having only been served for the first time 2 days ago. Luckily for Shakton and Corn on the Cob, that meant she lived near the front of the drawer.

After several minutes, they found her. She was sleeping soundly in a large, noodle-y mass under a blanket of tomato sauce with her pet meatballs at her side. Shakton had a terrible time trying to wake Spaghetti up. He and Corn on the Cob tried poking Spaghetti, shouting, clapping their hands, and loudly singing in squeaky, off-key voices. Finally, their efforts were rewarded and Spaghetti woke up. Then Shakton and Corn on the Cob had to sit and catch their breath for a minute before asking for help.

“We need your help, Spaghetti,” Shakton began.

“Yeah, we’re trying to get to the top of the Door to visit BlueBerry. But it’s too high up for us and there’s no way to climb up by ourselves,” Corn on the Cob continued. “Can you help us get up to the Top Shelf so we can climb across to the drawer on the door where BlueBerry lives?” Shakton finished. Spaghetti thought for a moment before answering,

“Sure, I’ll help, but I never do something for nothing. While you’re up there in the Door, will you give a message to my friend Grated Parmesan for me?” “Yes, if you’ll just help us up there!” Shakton agreed. “All right, it’s a deal,” Spaghetti said. “Tell Parmesan that she and I are supposed to be served for dinner tonight, so she had better not make any plans and be out partying in the very back of the refrigerator like last time!”

The three of them made their way out of the creepy, shadowy leftover-drawer and Spaghetti began making a plan: “I’ll reach up to the next shelf and you’ll climb up along my arm,” she said. Her noodle arms were very, very long, and she would have no problem reaching way up to the next shelf. Shakton and Corn on the Cob nodded and Spaghetti continued, “Then I’ll pull myself up and we’ll do the same thing over again. I’m not entirely sure how you’ll get over onto the door, but I can at least take you as far as the Top Shelf.” “Thank you for helping us at least that much!” Shakton said gratefully. He really meant what he said.

The three carried out their plan without a single thing going wrong, and eventually, they reached the Top Shelf.

“Here, I must leave you,” Spaghetti said sadly. Shakton hugged her new friend. “Thank you again for helping us. I don’t know how we would have made it up here without you!” “You’re welcome, Shakton. Good luck on your mission!” Spaghetti said, then began to go back down to the Leftover Drawer.

A kindly tall, skinny cardboard pint of cream was more than willing to lean over and let Shakton and Corn on the Cob climb up his back to reach the Door. They had to quickly deliver Spaghetti’s message to Grated Parmesan, then they were on their way again.

Finally, the two reached BlueBerry’s home. He was more than willing to come along— in fact, he was quite honored to be chosen as a representative of the Carbohydrate group. “Wait, there’s only Corn on the Cob and I… doesn’t that mean you still need to get one more food?” he suddenly asked as they slid down the refrigerator door handle and onto the floor. “You’re right,” Shakton realized. He looked at his friends, thinking about whom else he should bring along. He smacked her fist onto her palm, shouting, “I know! Let’s go get Ants on a Log!”

Corn on the cob and BlueBerry looked at each other, puzzled. “Who’s that?” they asked at the same time.

“Oh, you’ve probably never heard of him. He’s new to the Kitchen. Anyway, he’s on a plate on the counter, beside the sink.”

Shakton, BlueBerry, and Corn on the Cob scurried across the floor, very careful not to disturb the sleeping cat as they went by.

They were all very glad that Mrs. Jones had been interrupted a while ago while sweeping the floors because the broom was leaning up against the counter. It was pretty easy to climb up the broom handle and onto the counter after all that Shakton and Corn on the Cob went through to get to BlueBerry.

When they had all climbed up the broom handle, they hurried over to the white plate sitting there a foot away. The Ants on a Log family were all lying around on the plate, chatting with each other. They all looked exactly alike! Shakton ran over ahead of the other two.

“Hello! I’m Shakton Carbohydrate,” she said. All six of them turned and looked at her.

“Hello,” they all said at once. They looked very friendly. Shakton quickly told them about the Jones’ eating problems (for the third time that day) and asked them if one of them would come with her to the dining room table at supper time.

“Oh, yes. Allan will go with you!” one of them said cheerfully. “Thank you!” Shakton exclaimed gratefully. He looked quickly over her shoulder at the large clock on the wall.

Oh no! It was almost 6:30! They had only five minutes to get to the dining room table. Would they make it in time?

“We have to hurry,” Shakton shouted. “Let’s go!” They all slid down the broom handle and ran across the kitchen. It was a very big kitchen, and they couldn’t run very fast on their short little legs. There were only two minutes left when they finally reached the dining room. They hurried over to the table and then struggled to climb up one of its legs.

At long last, they all made it up onto the tabletop. They sat down tiredly, panting to get their breath back.

“Shakton, you made it! Good job!” Norman Nutrition called from the middle of the table, where he sat beside the salt shaker. “I knew I could count on you.”

Shakton was very pleased when she saw many of her friends there beside Norman. Penelope Protein was there with her 3 representatives, along with Frances Fat, Phil Fiber, and Wally Water.

Of course, the Jones family was there, too. They listened while Norman Nutrition explained that they were here to help them eat better so they could be healthier. Then, the leaders of each of the food groups took turns talking about their jobs.

When it was Shakton’s turn he said:

“My job in maintaining your bodies is to help build gain energy so you can run, jump, and play. I brought three friends with me. Corn has lots of carbs, but Corn on the Cob is more fun than other kinds, don’t you think? BlueBerry can be very fruity, and he’s all about carbs! Ants on a Log gets his carbs from the Peanut Butter he’s made with.”

After everyone had gotten a turn to talk, Norman turned to Jones. “After what you’ve learned, will you promise to eat better foods?” he asked. They all nodded.

Shakton was tired that night, but very happy that the mission was a success. He knew if Jones ate properly, they would live very happy lives.

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