Carrot and Apple were the best of friends. Every day, they hurried out to play, racing along the boardwalk at the beach, swinging high on the swings at the park, and swimming fast in the local pool. But their favorite thing to do was to roll down the side of a hill out near the old forest.
They’d laugh and laugh as they tumbled and bumped down the hill—and so did everyone who watched them. Apple’s bumps and knobs made him bounce in ridiculous ways, and Carrot’s conical shape made him roll in swooping loops. They’d roll and bounce and laugh to the bottom of the hill and then run to the top and do it all over again.
One day, they were rolling down the hill when Carrot went horribly out of control, rolled into traffic, and was struck by a passing car. An ambulance fetched him, and the two friends were raced to the nearby hospital.
Carrot was rushed into an operating room and poor Apple was left pacing and fretting in the waiting room. Hours and hours passed.
At last, the surgeon emerged, still wiping his hands on a towel. He removed his mask and came up to where Apple stood trembling.
“Will he be all right?” Apple cried.
“Well, he’ll live,” said the surgeon cautiously. “But he’ll be a vegetable all of his life.”