This story is based on a true story.
Norbert was a baby bearded dragon who did not like to eat his veggies. He figured he was a dragon and surely dragons should not have to eat vegetables.
But every morning these vegetables would arrive to his tank out of the sky and he would freeze. Then he would make a face. To show how much he hated them he would run through his dish and make all the chopped carrots, basil, watercress, peas, parsley, kale and green beans go flying all over his cage. It was a lot of fun to throw your food.
After he had made a mess he would show how much he truly loathed his vegetables by poop right on top of his vegetable dish.
The big bearded dragons would tell Norbert he needed to eat his vegetables and that it was not ok to poop on them. Norbert knew they were just weird because they all loved vegetables. Norbert thought they were crazy and paid them no mind.
Alf, the big, old dragon in the cage next to Norbert’s would say, in his slow deep voice, “When… I wasss your age…I hated vvvvege-tablesss, tooooo….but….llllizardssss….cannot live on cricketsssss….alone…..you must get used toooo….vvvvege-tablesss…Norbert”.
What Norbert really liked to eat, was crickets. They were crunchy and sweet and fun to catch. Unlike vegetables, which did not even move. Except when he ran through his dish.
Norbert hated veggies so much that he would stay hungry all day until cricket time came in the afternoon. Crickets, sadly, only came once a day. It was a long wait, but worth it.
But one evening, when cricket time came, the voice from the sky said, “Oh, no! Norbert, I have run out of crickets. You’ll have to wait until I get back from the pet store with more.”
“Not big deal,” thought Norbert, until, his stomach began to rumble. Then it grumbled. Then it flipped and flopped and felt like it was trying to eat itself. Norbert was beginning to panic. He was so hungry and almost couldn’t take it any longer when out of the corner of his eye he saw a carrot. A carrot he had flung aside that morning when he had run through his vegetable dish.
He skittered over to it and eyed it suspiciously. Then sniffed it cautiously. Norbert knew there was only one thing he could do. He closed his eyes and shot out his tongue. He held the carrot in his mouth not sure what to do. He closed his jaw down on the carrot and swallowed. To his surprise it crunched and it was sweet, just like a cricket. What a nice surprise.
But, his stomach still rumbled.
Across the cage he saw a bright green leaf of kale, so he scampered over and eyed it suspiciously. Then sniffed it cautiously. Then shot out his tongue before he could think twice. It wasn’t crunchy, it wasn’t sweet, but it tasted sort of green and sort of like dirt. Norbert liked dirt! Maybe vegetables weren’t so bad?
He turned to jump on a pea that was on his rock and gulped it down too. Sweet, juicy and round. It was different than anything he has tasted yet. The veggies didn’t move, but they tasted good and they were all different. Norbert thought, different was kind of nice.
“Hey, Alf!” Norbert yelled. “These vegetable things aren’t bad. Why didn’t you tell me?” Alf just rolled his eyes.
Eventually, the crickets did come from the sky, but from that day on Norbert tried all his vegetables. Some he liked, some he didn’t, but Norbert never pooped on his vegetables again.