Once upon a time, in a restaurant, you have definitely seen, but never eaten in, a young boy named Beckett was sitting down to dinner with his two sisters and his mother. It was Beckett’s eighth birthday, and, as a special treat, his mother decided to take him and his family out to a place which came highly recommended by Beckett’s grandmother. The restaurant was difficult to find and, when they eventually did see it, it was in a building they were sure they had already checked. Now that they were settled and had been provided with menus, Beckett’s mum informed him that, in keeping with his Grandmother’s wishes, he would be allowed to choose any dessert he wanted from the menu, so long as he tried the pasta dish known as The Chef’s Special.
Beckett was not usually one to try different foods, and his family knew it. In fact, it was challenging to get Beckett to try anything new, period. However, after staring at the dessert menu for several minutes, Beckett could not stop thinking about how good the Two-Flavored Sundae Tower sounded. The family agreed that four bites would be enough to say that he at least tried the dish his Grandmother wanted him to eat and they called the waitress over to place their order.
After fifteen minutes of reminiscing about positive family times, their dishes were ready to be served. Everyone’s meals came out looking as expected, except for Beckett’s. As the waiter put Beckett’s pasta dish down in front of him, it was clear that there was one piece of cooked pasta stretching out from the bowl, down past the other chairs and could be seen continuing through the door of the restaurant.
“There must be some mistake,” Beckett’s mother responded to the waiter.
“No. madam,” the waiter replied. “There is no mistake, only The Chef’s Special. Please, enjoy.”, and he turned and left their table.
The family were now staring at the uncannily long piece of noodle that travelled outside of the restaurant for how long, no one could be sure.
“I… I’m not sure I want to try this, Mummy,” said Beckett, his face scrunching up in disgust.
“Well, look,” she began, “We agreed you could have four bites, and you know what happens if we were to disappoint your Grandmother. What if you just gave it a go? There’s no harm in trying something a bit different, is there?”
Beckett shrugged his shoulders and took a deep breath, “I guess not.” He took his fork and twirled the end of pasta around its prongs, and took his first bite.
Beckett had never tried anything so delicious in his whole life. He immediately felt as though his mouth had come alive and his brain had been switched on to overdrive. He took another bite, then another, and another. Before anyone had a chance to question what was happening, Beckett was standing up and was taking bite after delicious bite from his pasta dish. His family tried to call out to him to come back, but Beckett was already out the door with a look of delight and excitement on his face.
Once outside the restaurant, Beckett could see that the pasta continued down the street, like an electrical wire that hung too low. He decided to continue eating when he came across an older man holding a bike. “Ahhh. The Chef’s Special,” the older man commented. “You will be able to eat the dish much quicker if you ride this bike while eating.”
“I’ve never really ridden a bike before, and I don’t really like trying new things.”
“Nonsense!” responded the man. “You are trying the noodle and you are enjoying that, perhaps you will enjoy riding this bike just as much.” Beckett knew the older man was right, so he decided to take the bike, and see if he could eat the pasta any quicker.
To his surprise, he picked up riding the bike rather quickly and he found he could fit a lot of the delicious pasta in his mouth as well which filled him with excitement. The pasta led Beckett down some quieter streets and towards the edge of town. It wove itself down a dirt road and Beckett now found himself chewing on the piece of pasta beside Greenvale River. He was about to finish chewing and turn his bike around when some of the fish gathered in front of him. To his surprise, one of the fish stuck his head out of the water and spoke to him. “Come on in! It’s fun to swim down these rapids, you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime!”
Not feeling very confident, Beckett explained that he really should be heading back as his mother was probably worried and he really wasn’t one for trying anything new. “That’s preposterous! You have tried a new dish and learned to ride a bike and look at the adventures this has brought you on! Many more amazing adventures are waiting for you if you are willing to give something else a try!” Beckett thought that the water looked inviting and he certainly didn’t want to let this pasta go to waste, so, clothes and all, Beckett went waist deep into the river. The fish guided him down some rapids and Beckett found to his delight that he was having more fun than at any time he could remember. He continued to eat the pasta and float down the river for only a couple of minutes, and when he was done, the fish guided him to the opposite river bank. They thanked him and swam away.
Beckett now found himself standing and looking upwards as the pasta guided his eyes up to the top of a mountain. He was only slightly afraid and noticed that he felt braver than he might have done had he not already had some wonderful new experiences. It caught him by surprise when an owl flew down, landed on a branch beside him and spoke. “Nice night for a walk, don’t you think?”
Beckett stood still trying to make sure he didn’t let go of the end of the pasta in his mouth. Surely the owl couldn’t expect him to climb the mountain in the dark? He enjoyed the pasta, but perhaps not that much. The owl encouraged him, regardless.
“You’ve have had such an enjoyable evening, think of how accomplished you feel after climbing this mountain. Beckett found it difficult to disagree with the owl and, with the owl leading the way, Beckett followed the pasta up and over the mountain with surprising ease.
Standing on the other side of the mountain. Beckett took a moment to think of all the adventures he had from merely from trying a piece of pasta. He continued eating the pasta along the flat road, leading him back to town and into the restaurant where his adventures began.
Beckett’s mother and sisters asked him what he thought of the dish that had taken so long for him to finish. “Well,” he said, slurping the end of the pasta into his mouth, “I think I’m ready to try something else from the menu before eating that dessert.”
His mother smiled and told him that if he was willing to try something new, then he could have anything he wanted.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.