Happy Face Meal by Angelle McDougall


The butter tarts squared off in two rows, and hurled epithets at each other. Raisin-filled attacked first, with a feint forward, and then a withdrawal. Next pecan-filled copied the move. Neither wanted to run out of their favorite filling.


The peas rolled across the table unchallenged until the cooked carrots confronted them. The peas were creaming them, and then out from behind a bowl they came, towering over the cooked vegetables.


“Run. It’s uncut carrots.” The peas scattered.


Whole parsnips joined the fray, rallying the peas. They collided with the carrots in a battle of epic proportions.


Mashed potatoes slowed the progress of the parsnips and the carrots advanced until the gravy made them slip and fall. It looked dire indeed, but then the table shuddered. Tom Turkey had joined the fray. Each step of the giant bird shook the table. The carrots attacked with a renewed vigor. The peas scattered again as they are wont to do. Parsnips flew to the left and to the right, swatted out of the way by turkey wings.


Christmas music played in the background growing louder and in the distance a shape appeared, flying toward the battle. As it approached the various food groups squinted for a better look.


“It’s a fruitcake. Every morsel for itself.” The head carrot recognized the threat and sounded the retreat.


The imposing cake slammed into the turkey knocking it back onto the serving platter. Vegetables were running everywhere. Colonel Cake smashed them one by one. The potatoes were the first to realize that they were beaten and led the vegetable retreat back to their bowls with the gravy hopping into the safe harbor of a boat.


“If you tarts don’t get back in your trays I’ll crush your raisins, and your nuts.” The cake officer watched as they scurried back to their platters.


Later the family sat down to dinner completely oblivious to the strange goings-on. That is… until little Trudy Terwilligar noticed something odd. “Hey. There’s a pea in my carrots.”


Her brother, Tommy, threw a handful of peas at her, and yelled, “Food fight.”