A Carrot By Any Other Name Would Smell As Carrot-Like

Being a Discworldly Work of Fanfiction,

By the Author of the hardly-read-at-all Harry Potter and the Holy Grail,

All rights belonging to Terry Pratchett, who owns all characters mentioned.

Except for the carrot and the tableware.

***

It had been a long day for Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson of the Ankh- Morpork City Watch. There had been three robberies, several fights and a severe traffic problem, and on top of this they were still extremely short- staffed. Commander Vimes had shouted at him no fewer than four times, the Patrician had given him a *look*, and Angua wasn't talking to him again because of his excessive politeness. Carrot was tired and hungry, and for the first time ever he was looking forward to his day off because it would give him a chance to rest.

He wandered into the kitchen during a quiet moment in Pseudopolis Yard. His stomach was doing some serious complaining. However, there appeared to be more or less nothing to eat, except for some stale bread, the left-overs of Sergeant Colon's Klatchian Take-away, and a few odds and ends of vegetables. Carrot carefully binned the bread (which, although made to a totally human recipe, was now of a texture a Dwarf would have been proud of) and the left-over take-away, and selected a carrot from the pile of vegetables, as it seemed to be the least mould-ridden option. He put it on a plate, and found a knife and fork. He raised the knife and made to cut into the carrot.

"Are you sure you really want to be doing that?"

Carrot froze. He had no idea where the voice had come from.

"Yes," he said. "I haven't had lunch."

"Ah," said the voice. "Ah, yes, but, you see, humans can live for days without food, right?" said the voice, sounding a little desperate. "You don't actually *need* to eat *now*,do you, eh?"

"Well, no, not really," said Carrot reasonably. "May I enquire as to the nature of your . . . well, of you?"

"I'm this carrot," said the carrot. "You nearly stuck your knife into me just then."

This didn't seem to ruffle Carrot in the slightest. "Sorry about that," he said.

"Not a problem. Happens all the time."

"And you always talk your way out of it, do you?"

"Well, obviously. If I didn't, I wouldn't be here to chat to you. And almost be brutally murdered, I might add."

"I did say sorry," said Carrot, a shade defensively.

"Yeah," said the vegetable. "Well, this sort of thing doesn't do much for my mental wossname, you know. You can really dent a guy's morale goin' round waving knives at him. Not that anyone cares when you're a carrot. No one gives a damn how *we* feel. Same with tableware. No one ever asks a fork if it feels like poking a bit of lettuce in the eye, just assumes its going to be okay with the whole thing, expects it to go along with whatever they feel like doing . . ."

"Lettuce doesn't have eyes," Carrot pointed out.

"Well, no, fair enough," said the voice of the carrot. "But that isn't really anything to do with my point." There was a moment's sulky silence during which the Captain of the Watch regarded the vegetable with mild interest. Then the voice continued. "At least with lettuce," it said, "they don't have a name which sounds like someone was really sloshed when they came up with it. I mean, what sort of a word is 'carrot'?"

"My name's Carrot," said Carrot.

"I don't believe you," said the carrot.

"It is," said Carrot. "It's Carrot."

"Yeah? And which variety of brain-dead moron calls their kid Carrot?" said the carrot.

Carrot bit his lip and continued to watch the orange, tapering tuber on his plate.

"Stop looking at me like that," complained the carrot. "You're drooling."

"I'm not."

"You can't eat me. I have a wife and kids."

"Vegetables don't marry."

"Whatever. Look, I've had a hard life, alright? Do you know where I was born?"

"In a field," said Carrot.

"Well, yeah. But not just any field. This one was home to a whole swarm of crows! I saw many of my siblings pecked to death before I was even dug up. Then this chappie comes along and pulls me up by my hair and tells me I'd made a fine stew! What kind of thing is that to say to someone who's just had their first taste of daylight, eh? I ask you!"

"there, there," said Carrot sympathetically.

The carrot sniffed. "I spent ages in a greengrocers shop," it said. "Almost an hour. Then I was bought by a git with no teeth who wanted to make soup out of me. Soup, I tell you! Me! Have you ever seen a finer specimen of a carrot? Ad he wanted to put me in *soup*!"

"Dreadful," said Carrot.

"At least with you, you would have been able to savour my sweet taste, feel me crunch between your teeth, enjoy my juice . . ."

"I think I've lost my appetite," Carrot murmured. He picked up the knife and fork ad put them back in the drawer. The he glanced back at the vegetable, which was still sitting on the plate, muttering to itself. Wearing his most politely concerned expression, Carrot leaned towards it. "I think you ought to get help," he told it. Then he went out on patrol.

End.