The Return of Captain Asparagus

Alec the Artichoke slept like a log

Asleep on a cloud in the Great Land of Nod

Snoring while tucked in a bed made of lettuce

Sleeping so deep, Snow White would be jealous

He was as sleepy as vegetables get

Not just catching ‘z’s but the whole alphabet

Alec was peaceful, just catching some kip

Until he was stirred by an almighty drip


The drip was the size of an elephant’s tear

And dripped from the sky into poor Alec’s ear

It rudely awoke the slumbering Alec

As he sat upright in a quick flood of panic

What was that? bellowed Alec, flustered and wet

Sopping and angry and very upset

He then cast his eye up towards the ceiling

And what Alec saw sent the artichoke reeling


Mere words can’t describe how poor Alec felt

When he saw the sky had started to melt

The artichoke leapt to his feet and declared

His voice all a-tremble because he was scared

The sky is a-leak he cried and repeated

So loud it ensured that sleep was unseated

Startled at hearing so anguished a cry

The vegies awoke wiping sleep from their eyes


For a moment they stood in absolute silence

Their mouths open wide at this vision of violence

It was Boris the Bean who said it out loud

I don’t understand how it rains without clouds

Huge drops of water fell out of the air

And those in the fridge could only but stare

Penelope Pea soon started to weep

As water began to rise ‘round her feet.

We’ll be washed away, she said through her sobbing

As large drops of water continued on dropping


Poor Rodney Rocket and all the Rockettes

Took sudden leave of their common sense

Then all the cheeses, fell to their kneeses

And snivelling snow peas started to sneezes

Terry the Turnip turned quite hysterical

And Boris Bean’s eyes were wide open and spherical

All of them slowly turning quite manic

As they descended deep into panic


Captain Asparagus could surely save us!

Declared a watermelon named Mavis

Without hesitation the others agreed

And some even let themselves feel relieved

But even before they could say ‘hallelujah’

Alec could not help but feel quite peculiar

There’s something not right he said in a whisper

Standing on top of the vegetable crisper


Then like a flash he quickly recalled

Why the Captain was not in the vegetable drawer

Saying louder than he might have desired

Have you forgotten the Captain retired?

The vegetables collectively stopped in their tracks

And those that were cheering began to relax

Their mouths from a smile back into a frown

As all of them suddenly felt quite let down


Captain Asparagus had devoted his time

Maintaining the peace and battling crime

But he’d done his job a little too well

So well in fact it was quite hard to tell

Whether he simply fought crime in his stride

Or was lazing about on his backside

The lack of activity caused them to mutter

In clandestine meetings behind the butter


The vegies, believing their foe was defeated

Decided the Captain was no longer needed

They thought it was safe and made him retire

So gave him a send off, complete with a choir

Captain Asparagus walked into the distance

And called it a day at the vegies’ insistence

He packed up his things, and climbed out of the drawer

And decided he would not fight crime anymore


It all counts for little, the poor Captain thought

As he left the crisper and headed up North

Up through the shelves to the colder high reaches

Leaving behind the apples and peaches

The beans and the carrots, the peas and the fennel

Alone and unwanted, he slept in a kennel

He built from a tub of old margarine

It was ugly but it kept him warm, dry and clean


It was here the old Captain now spent the hours

His heart broken up, refusing to shower

Giving away the last of his health

Til he was a shadow of his former self

He stopped working out and then grew a beard
And to an outsider, it probably appeared

Captain Asparagus had let himself go

As he lived in the ice, the sleet and the snow


Back at the crisper, things grew more strained

And as drips kept on dripping down just like rain

The water kept rising much like the tide

As they swallowed it, along with their pride

The tension grew tight, just like a girdle

The air grew so sour that it made the milk curdle

Until the tension was pierced by a whistle

That shot through the fridge with the force of a missile.


I’ll save the day, a voice loudly declared

But when they turned around there was nobody there

Up here came a call, and they all looked above

To see a masked Mango, in a cape wearing gloves

Who are you? They cried. Tell us your plan

– I’m your new superhero, the Great Mango Man

I’m here with my sidekick, the Dynamite Spud

And we have a plan to save you from this flood


The old cauliflower was quickly all ears

As the water kept rising and his toes disappeared

And a tiny potato in a wrestling mask

Emerged from behind a big cardboard cask

He stood at the ready, his hands on his hips

And a message he wanted to shout on his lips

The way to get through this hour so dark

Is if we all pull together and build us an ark


With what shall be build it? The vegetables cried

The mango and spud, their eyes open wide

Looked deeply confused in response to the question

As the air filled with the scent of dissension

They stood doing nothing except getting older

And Mango Man answered by shrugging his shoulders

The mango and spud offered nothing but silence

As the water kept rising turning them into islands


The smiles on their faces soon turned to the ground

As the mango and spud began to turn ‘round

And start to run just as fast as they could

Into the distance to leave them for good

As they disappeared, the Artichoke sighed

Wasn’t that just a fat waste of time?

The watery drips had turned to a trickle

Leaving the vegetables in quite a pickle


Alec stood tall, gazing over the crop

Someone must journey their way to the top

Away from the water in search of assistance

If we are going to mount some resistance

– But who can assist us? They said in a chorus

Who would be willing to do something for us?

The artichoke yelled You’re acting like anarchists!

I must go in search of Captain Asparagus!


But it’s cold at the top! Said Penelope Pea

At most maybe two or perhaps three degrees

Alec was mindful it would not be much fun

But knew it was something that had to be done

With the water now rising up to their knees

Their limbs and their muscles had started to seize

There was no time to waste and no time to ponder

As Alec got ready to climb over yonder


Rugged up to the hilt, Alec prepared

To climb to the top, even though he was scared

To go just in case he ended up frozen

From the top of his tips right down to his toes, and

As Alex started to climb to a shelf

The vegies below wished him speed and good health

He climbed and he climbed until he was dizzy

Climbing so hard his breath became busy


He caught his breath and looked over the edge

His artichoke hands holding on to the ledge

Below on the crisper, he then looked in front

And was so surprised he go of a grunt

Is anyone there? Asked a white paper packet

What could it be making all of this racket?

– Who are you? said Alec, beginning to shake

As he stepped closer and started to quake


Under here, said a voice as old as blue cheese

Stop wasting time and unwrap me please!

Alec, still weary after all of his travel

Nevertheless began to unravel

The bundle of paper until he released

A gigantic fish from the depth of the seas

Holy Mackerel! Said Alec, falling about

No Sir! Said the fish. I’m a deep ocean trout.


Excuse me said Alec I don’t mean to disturb you

But I’m in search of a long green stem, who

Was the greatest crime-fighter that you’ve ever seen

A mean, lean and green crime- fighting machine

The trout shook his head, I can’t help you out

The people up here don’t want to be found

You’d be better off if you’d leave him alone

Turn around now and go on back home


I don’t have a choice the artichoke said

His limbs as stale as an old piece of bread

And as the cold started to bite at his heels

He wondered just how the Captain must feel

To live in a place that was so cold and miserable

To be all alone and nearly invisible

We need him said Alec It’s as simple as that

I must keep on looking and then bring him back


The deep ocean trout did not give a sermon

He could tell Alec was clearly determined

If you must, he said, in reluctant agreement

Just promise me now that you truly mean it

– Mean what? Asked the artichoke scratching his neck

– Mean you’ll treat the Captain with love and respect

And with that he understood what the trout meant

And knew that he must now resume his ascent


There’s no time to lose said Alec abruptly

As he scrambled quicker than Humpty Dumpty

He continued on climbing up through the frost

His limbs like lead and counting the cost

Until he reached the topper most shelf

And waited a moment to compose himself

When there in the corner he noticed a figure

And as he drew in, the figure got bigger


Dishevelled, unshaven and lounging about

A frown on his face and his guts hanging out

Oh Captain said Alec, What have we done

To you that’s so bad that it’s made you become

An unhappy ending to a once-happy story

Little more than a shadow of your former glory?

From under the brim of a beaten up hat

The Captain stared, asking, What are you looking at?


Alec responded, I don’t mean to pry

But the water is rising and we’re all going to die!

Captain Asparagus leapt to his feet

Before slipping over the ice and the sleet

Don’t panic he said as he picked himself up

Smoothed back his hair and sucked in his gut

Captain Asparagus will soon save the day

He cried as he felt his trousers give way


However, he said to the young artichoke

As he reattached a flowing red cloak

And Alec leaned in and he did his best

To listen to whatever the Captain said next

There’s just one little problem I need to fix

Would you be willing to be my side-kick?

The Captain asked Alec, adding as he did

I hereby rename you the Artichoke Kid!


The Captain and Alec took off like thunder

The Asparagus spear and Artichoke wonder

Down through the shelves and past the dairy

At such a speed it was really quite scary

Meanwhile the vegies were very upset

The hands of the water wrapped round their necks

Save us! They wailed as the water closed in

Until it began to tickle their chins


Fear not! Cried the Captain, I’ll save the day

For justice, truth and the Asparagus way!

Beside him stood the Artichoke Kid

Standing on top of a margarine lid

Together they ran just as fast as they could

While the vegies below just silently stood

And watched as they leapt with an almighty roar

And crashed with great speed into the fridge door


They crashed with such force, it threatened to dent them

Such was their speed and sense of momentum

The door of the fridge then flew open wide

And the vegies washed out of the fridge like the tide

Onto a vast open plain made of lino

Where are we? They asked and the Captain said I know

The vegies fell quiet and gathered around

Listening quite hard, not making a sound


We’re in a place where we can start over

Where life is as sweet as a giant pavlova

Adding just as a tear pushed on through

Where all of your wildest dreams can come true

– Look over there! cried the Artichoke Kid

And the vegies all gasped aloud as they did

For just past the open fly wire screen

Was the prettiest thing that they’d ever seen


A wide open door and a glowing so bright

Drawing them t’wards the gentle sun light

As they reached the door, they fell from a stair

And suddenly found themselves in the fresh air

This is amazing whispered the Captain

Caught in a daze until somebody slapped him

Don’t you see shouted Alec, without saying pardon

You’ve managed to lead us all back to the garden


The vegetables were all extremely excited

As many of them found themselves reunited

With loved ones they’d lost and friends they’d forgotten

With vegies they long assumed had turned rotten

They danced and sang for all they were worth

Hugging and rolling themselves in the earth

Under the gaze of the lucky old sun

The vegetables spent the whole day having fun


Penelope Pea was as pleased as could be

Boris the Bean was calm and serene

Terry the Turnip and the Melon named Mavis

Could not remove the smiles from their faces

Rodney Rocket and old Colonel Corn

Had not felt so good since the day they were born

They each enjoyed every minute and hour

From the baby peas up to the old cauliflower


They’d made an error, that much was clear,

In throwing the Captain out on his ear

And as their home turned into a lake

The vegies admitted they’d made a mistake

By taking a chance they then uncovered

An entire world they would not have discovered

If not for the fact that trouble had found them

Crawled in behind and tried to surround them


This is the story of Captain Asparagus

How he beat the odds and defied the averages

Who, along with the Artichoke Kid

Did something as good as anyone did

By not allowing his heart to harden

And leading the vegetables back to the garden

So with all of his soul and not just a fraction

The Captain watched on with great satisfaction


For this is the story of Captain Asparagus

Who saved the fruits, the beets and the cabbages

When water came dripping and they felt accosted

And helped them escape when the fridge was defrosted

The asparagus spear, who was to learn,

What made him great which saw him return

Braver than he had been ever before

The greatest superhero in the vegetable drawer.


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