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The Spoon in the Stone
Author

Doug Peterson
Cindy Kenney

Published

January 30, 2005

The Spoon in the Stone is a book that talks about serving others.

Plot

Laura is yelling at Junior to run and for him to leave the soccer ball, as Junior tears across Mr. Picklesheimer's yard, while right behind him was a dog with ferocious fangs, as the beast snarls and snaps at him. Because Mr. Picklesheimer didn't like kids on his yard, he bought a dog, or rather a creature that was part monster, as Junior runs for his life. Just as the dog is about to attack, Junior leaps over the fence, becoming safe, but the soccer ball ends up getting torn up and eaten by the dog, which Junior is nervous about, because that ball could have been him. The next day, Junior's mom tells him that everyone is going to help Mr. Picklesheimer, which Junior is surprised to hear, before Mom explains to him that Mr. Picklesheimer is getting old and that he needs help doing his yard work, so because of that, they and the Carrots are going to help him, because God wants us to serve others. Junior is surprised that they have to do it today because he and Laura have more important things to do. However, Dad tells him that there's nothing more important than serving others and that they need him home by one o'clock, which causes Junior to sigh, because he does not like this at all.

At the Treasure Trove Bookstore, Junior and Laura complain loudly about why they should help a grouchy old pickle and that they have more important things to do. Mr. O'Malley couldn't help but overhear, recognizing that Junior and Laura are having the same problem "a lad and lassie had in a storybook [he] once read", before going to find it. He looks in the Serving Others section, right next to the Scratch-and-Sniff classics, before finding the book, called The Spoon in the Stone. Junior opens to the first page and sees a huge castle with a drawbridge, and standing in front of the castle are two Veggies in royal clothes. All once, four words lift from the page into the air, swirling around and around, growing larger and larger, four simple words; ONCE UPON A TIME. The four giant words swirl around Junior and Laura, as they find themselves falling down, down, down, zooming straight through piles of large words... before landing in front of the castle door. There, they meet up with a tomato who introduces himself as Sir Irving, and his cucumber assistant as Sir Galaham, before adding that they run the Hamalot Hotel. Sir Galaham adds that they like ham a lot, while Sir Iriving tells Junior and Laura that they've been expecting them, which Junior and Laura are confused about.

Sir Galaham then gives Junior and Laura some aprons and some trays, while Sir Irving tells them not to dilly-dally because the hotel is packed with giants and ogres for this weekend's FEE-FI-FO-FUN Trade Show and that they have a shortage of servants. Sir Irving and Sir Galaham hurry Junior and Laura across the drawbridge, while Sir Irving explains that there's much to do and that the Hamalot is the only place that leaves a ham on your pillow every evening instead of a mint, while Sir Galaham says again that they like ham a lot. A few minutes later, Sir Irving explains to Junior and Laura that they can start on tables and deliver room service, as he takes Junior and Laura into the Hamalot restaurant, which specializes in ham and beans, peanut butter and ham sandwiches, and banana-ham smoothies. Junior observes that they really do like ham a lot. The restaurant is piled high with dirty dishes, while three lazy knights gobble up food and play ping-pong with a ham ball. Sir Irving introduces these knights as Sir Nezzer, Sir Phillipe, and Sir Luntalot, explaining that they used to be hotel servants, but after they became knights, they decided they were too important to help out around the hotel.

Sir Irving further explains that these lazy knights used to be known as the Knights of the Round Table, but with no servants to clean up, the Round Table piled up with dirty dishes, so because of that, they switched tables and became the Knights of the Pool Table, then they became the Knights of the Card Table, and now they're the Knights of the Ping-Pong Table. At that very second, a pea runs up to Sir Irving and gives him a slip of paper. Sir Irving then gives Junior and Laura their first job, which is that they are to deliver a rush order of ham and bean soup to Room 53. Upon hearing the words 'Room 53', the Knights of the Ping-Pong Table suddenly stop playing, the hamball bouncing off the table and clunking Sir Nezzer in the helmet, knocking his visor shut on his tongue. Sir Phillipe recognizes Room 53 as the dreaded giant Grizzle's room, while Sir Luntalot adds that Grizzle is in the Deluxe Dungeon Suite and that he's very dangerous, which Sir Nezzer agrees with. Junior and Laura look at each other, thinking that they shouldn't bother him, but Irving tells them that they'll be fine, while giving the tray to Junior, telling them that if they don't serve the food to him, he'll tear the hotel apart.

A little while later, Laura knocks on the door of room 53, before a giant pickle swings the door open, asking what took them so long, which Junior is nervous about. A large dragon lurks behind the giant with steam curling from his nose, which sets off the smoke alarm. The giant roars and smashes the alarm to bits, while Junior tries to be brave, telling the giant, "Your spoon, sir". However, when the giant looks down at the bowl, he asks where the spoon is, which causes Junior and Laura to realize that they forgot the spoon. Laura volunteers to get the spoon, but the giant tells her to stay with him, threatening that if Junior can't the spoon before the Hamalot tower bell rings, then he'll have carrot stew instead. Junior dashes back to the kitchen, finding that all the spoons are caked with gunk. Junior asks the knights to help him find a clean spoon, but Sir Nezzer tells him that they're knights, not servants. Junior tells the knights that God wants us to serve others, but Sir Nezzer tells him that they got better things to do, like playing ping-pong. Junior spots a large spoon sticking out from a huge rock in the courtyard as he runs up to it and grabs the handle while the others gather around him to see what would happen. Sir Galaham explains that the spoon is stuck in ancient oatmeal, and that many knights have tried to pull it out, but no one can do it. Junior gives a mighty yank, but the spoon doesn't budge.

Then it happened, Junior gives a final tug and the spoon slides out from the stone as smooth as butter. Trumpets sound off as sunlight breaks through the clouds and everyone cheers. Junior then dashes back into the hotel while holding the spoon high, just as the Hamalot tower bell was ringing. Sprinting upstairs to Grizzle's room, Junior swings open the door, worrying if he was too late to save his friend, holding his breath in anticipation. Laura then greets Junior, telling him that she and Grizzle are having tea, which confuses Junior, before Laura explains that after she gave Grizzle some tea, he calmed down, and that he's actually quite friendly. Junior holds the golden spoon in front of Grizzle, which surprises him as he recognizes it as the spoon in the stone. Sir Galaham explains that they say that whoever pulls the spoon from the stone has a true servant's heart, while Junior says that God wants us to be a servant to others.

Later, in the courtyard, Sir Galaham asks Junior and Laura to kneel before him, hereby dubbing them as Sir Junior and Lady Laura. Of course, Sir Phillipe tells Sir Galaham that by making them a knight and a lady, they'll be too important to be their servants. Of course, Junior tells him not to worry, while Laura adds that there's nothing more important than serving others, even when you're a knight, while Sir Galaham adds that he likes that a lot. Just then, Grizzle tells Junior and Laura that they're at the end of the story, while Junior calls out that they'll miss them. In a blink, Junior and Laura end up back in the Treasure Trove Bookstore, while Mr. O'Malley asks them how they liked the book as he comes over to them with sandwiches and pink lemonade. Junior and Laura are still stunned by their adventure. Junior asks Mr. O'Malley if all their books do this, which is pull them into the story. Mr. O'Malley answers that all good stories pull you in then offers a ham sandwich to Junior and Laura. Laura thanks him, but says that they have to get back home. Mr. O'Malley agrees with this, saying that they have to help a neighbor, then says that he thought that they had more important things to do. Junior and Laura look at each other, saying that they can play later, while Mr. O'Malley tells them that that's the spirit, watching as Junior and Laura dash out the door as he takes a bite out of the ham sandwich, saying to himself that he sure likes ham a lot.

Trivia

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