Pounder was a watermelon. He was minding his own business when a man came to the counter with a knife aimed at him. Pounder was angry. He rolled off the counter and landed on the man’s foot. The man yelled and dropped his knife. It stuck right into Pounder. He groaned and then died. The man picked him up and cut him up. He ate some and put the rest in the fridge and then went to work.
Jerry the orange woke up late. “Where’s Pounder?”
“Gone,” said Adam the apple.
“Where?” said Gwynn the grapefruit.
“I think he’s dead,” said Adam.
“What? Why?” said Gwynn.
“I woke up to hear something fall,” said Adam. “I fell back asleep but later I saw juice and seeds on the counter.”
“Who killed Pounder?” said Jerry.
“We should set a trap,” said Gwynn. “We should find out who killed Pounder and punish him.”
That night, the man came home from work. He opened his front door. The fruit had attached a knife to a rope. The door opening tripped the rope. The knife swung down and stabbed the man in the heart. He screamed and fell down dead.
“So tell me about this story,” his Dad says while the boy sits at the kitchen table working on homework.
“About the watermelon.”
“We were supposed to write a paragraph about fruit.”
“Yeah, but I wrote a murder mystery instead. And my friend Devin illustrated it.”
“What’s the mystery part?”
“The fruit don’t know who killed Pounder.”
“So they just knife whoever walked through the door? What if they were wrong?”
“They weren’t wrong.”
“But what if they were? What if the man had a wife? And kids?”
“He didn’t. He lived by himself.”
“Then who killed Pounder wasn’t a big mystery.”
“It was to them.”
“They don’t spend all day thinking about who lives there. They have their own lives. Like, the apples and oranges wind up in a war.”
“There are more fruit stories?”
“Yeah. My friend Steven is illustrating the war one. It’s sad. Adam gets killed.”
“That is sad.”
“Jerry’s the one who kills him.”
“I thought they were friends.”
“They used to be. Then the war happened.”
“I guess I’ll have to read it to find out why it all happened.”
“Ok, but I’m putting it in the library for kids to check out. So it might be awhile. Like till the end of the year.”
“Yeah. My one about werewolves has been checked out ten times already.”
“Did you like the Pounder story?”
“It’s very creative. I just wasn’t sure if the poor guy deserved to be murdered for eating a watermelon.”
“It wasn’t murder.”
“What was it then?”
“It was a trap to find out who did it and then to give that person justice.”
“You don’t think it’s kind of severe to die for eating a watermelon?”
“The man killed their friend. He deserved it.”
“So should you be killed when you eat a watermelon?”
“You know this is make-believe, right, Dad? Fruit don’t have feelings.”
“Right, right. It’s all pretend.”