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|Most people think
of strawberries as an innocuous, small, red, pleasant tasting
fruit. That is the common misconception. A sinister plot makes you
think that way. The truth of the matter is about to be revealed,
for the first time, to the public. Alarms should sound regarding
the matter. The media, the president, and the United Nations should
be made aware of this sinister threat, and immediate action needs
to be taken. The entire human race is in danger!
The truth is, that strawberries are an invasion from outer space. Like most with criminal intent, they don't use their true name. Their true name is Strumbleberries, as they come from the planet Strumble in a distant galaxy.
The red planet Strumble, like ours, had severe problems as a result of its dominant life form, Strumbleberries, overpopulating the planet. There was a shortage of land, a shortage of carbon dioxide, the gas they breathe. Soil and air become increasingly poor. Many Strumbleberries matured improperly. Many remained small or grew deformed. A significant number of them died before reaching maturity.
The Strumbleberries of the planetary council met to decide what to do. It had become evident that the future of the Strumbleberries, and indeed the entire planet Strumble was in grave danger. They discussed the issue for weeks. The outcome of this meeting showed one possible solution. That solution meant that many red spaceships were to be built, and to send away most of the Strumbleberries on these space ships, in order to colonize other planets.
The Strumbleberries had been observing outer space for many centuries. They knew the directions of planets that would likely be habitable by their race. Such planets would have a moderate temperature range, would have an atmosphere containing both carbon dioxide and oxygen, would be protected by an ozone layer, would have soil containing a number of elements including nitrogen, and would have plenty of water available. One of these planets is right here. Planet earth had all of the necessary elements to sustain life for Strumbleberries.
These ships were built, loaded with Strumbleberries, and sent out, including several to planet earth. Ships landed in many areas of this planet. Indeed, as the Strumbleberry scientists had expected, this was an ideal planet for life by Strumbleberries. There was only one problem, which involved the fact that there was already a dominant life form on this planet. This dominant life form had to be enslaved by the Strumbleberries to ensure their own survival. Both the psychology and physiology of humans needed to be understood before humans could be dominated.
First, a party was sent out to capture two human specimens. These two people, Ug and Alagoo, were kidnapped and carried off by thousands of small Strumbleberries in their sleep, and put inside the Strumbleberry testing lab. While here, numbers of psychological and physiological tests were performed on Ug and Alagoo. These tests were quite revealing to the Strumbleberries.
One such test was that of color perception. They gave these primitive humans a series of charts with colors. A psychologist named Spiff gave these to Ug.
Spiff calmly asked Ug, "You see these colored cards. I want you to take the one you like best." Ug thoughtfully responded, "UGGG! Hmmm." He smiled and picked the red one. To refine it further, Spiff showed him more colors, this time on blankets, of various shades of red, from pink to very dark red. Again, he spread them out. Spiff smiled at Ug and told him, "You have been a very good human. In return for your efforts, I would like to give you a blanket to keep you warm at night. I would like you to pick the one you like best." Ug smiled. He was very cold at night, his old bear skin was getting very worn. He needed to replace it, but he did not relish the thought of killing another angry bear. He was not a young man anymore, and the task could well mean grave injury or death to Ug. Ug went through the blankets. Pink one. He turned up his nose at it. It wasn't a color he really liked. The next was too dark. This one was the color of blood. He didn't like seeing that color; he yelled "UGGGG!" as he threw it down. Ug looked at his hands afterward, expecting to see blood on them. Finally, he found a blanket that was light red. Ug picked it up, held it to him, and smiled. Spiff was delighted, it was the color of Strumbleberries! There would surely be a way to use this element. Spiff smiled and informed the participant in his experiment, "Ug, It is yours to keep. You must be hungry. We'll get you something to eat."
Ug smiled, for indeed he was quite hungry. He greatly enjoyed the concept of not having to hunt for his food today. Hunting was becoming very sparse.
Of course, this was another experiment. Humans had been observed taking things into their bodies and making it part of them. Specifically, food items were always carbon based, and always another life form. It had been noticed that humans ate some life forms frequently, some infrequently, and some never. So, just what did they like? He gave him several things, synthetically made aboard the ship. He had sour, and salty, and bitter, and sweet.
The very sour item was the akin to an unripe grape. Spiff gave some to Ug, and Ug just groaned, and literally threw it across the room. Next he gave Ug something like synthetic popcorn. Salty was something that Ug would eat some of, but he didn't react that strongly. The bitter tasted like some of the patent medicine in our days past. This was something that Ug spit out; "GRUG!", he groaned. Next was sweet, first he gave Ug something that tasted much like a piece of chocolate. Ug really liked this. Spiff refined these tastes, giving him sweet things that ranged from pure sugar to tasting like mildly sweet carrots. He seemed to prefer the things that were fairly, but not extremely sweet. The other tastes he also preferred to be in their mild form, except bitter which he did not like at all.
Alagoo was given a similar test. She too preferred the reds, but had trouble choosing between the pink blanket and the light red one. She chose the light red one too in the end. Also, when given food, she liked slightly bitter better than Ug, although like Ug, she loved the sweets most.
The Strumbleberries returned Alagoo and Ug to their cave the next day, while scientists examined the data closely. How were these species to be taken over? Spiff was emphatically for bloodless means of conquest. Sprog believed the Strumbleberries should take arms and take the planet by force. Sprog and Spiff debated over this issue.
Spiff calmly contended, "Bloodshed is never the way. Violence always begets more violence. Strumbleberries are a peaceful race. We have never resorted to violence. There must be another way."
Sprog emphatically countered, "These nonviolent means sound well and good. But, our lives and the lives of our children are at stake here. We need to conquer this planet for our own use. These humans who live here are very primitive. Look at the psychological data that you, yourself, presented about them? It is known that excess sugars damage carbon bodies. Yet, they are attracted to it. Both specimens were attracted to light red. They like killing things. This is a very primitive society. We can use our superior technology to eliminate them in no time. Let's do that." He shook his fist at the end of this short speech.
Spiff calmly responded, "If we were to do that, that would make us as primitive as you say they are. Not that I am convinced that they are stuck in this primitive level, I believe that the Strumbleberries can and should help develop their technology and society. We can take them over more covertly, and even elicit their help in doing so. They ingest food into their bodies. We Strumbleberries are known to have a fairly high sugar content. Suppose some Strumbleberries were to get inside them that way? As Strumbleberries become light red and increase their sugar content as they are ready to reproduce then die, these humans could be persuaded to ingest Strumbleberries in that stage of life. These elder Strumbleberries would very quickly enter into their minds and even their hearts. We could take over their minds that way! Think of it! We could live on a long time if we became part of these humans. They would care for us very nicely. Not only that, they would spread our seeds around, both deliberately and accidentally, because their digestive system is not sufficient to destroy the shell in which Strumbleberry embryos are encased. I've also found other species on this planet that could be taken over as easily, and could accidentally spread our seeds as well. Doing this, we would be spread throughout the planet in no time."
The council thought deeply about Spiff's suggestion. They decided the plan of action would be to covertly take over the planet. Just put themselves out there, encourage humans to eat them, take humans over from the inside, and do what they liked with this planet.
Some of Strumbleberries, in their last stages of life, where they turn red and have the means for reproduction, set themselves outside the spaceship. Alagoo walked by the ship and found them. She took as many as would fit in her basket back to the other cave people. Next, some birds came along and ate some of the remaining Strumbleberries, dropping their seeds in distant places. Finally, squirrels ate the rest of the Strumbleberries, also dropping their seeds in distant places.
The following year, Strumbleberries were found throughout the nearby woods. The women were excited to find them. Alagoo, who had been the first cave woman to taste a Strumbleberry, and thus had some of their ideas invading her mind, had an idea. She said, "What if we take some of these, and plant them deliberately, just outside our village? That way, we would have a ready source of food whenever we wanted it." The others agreed, and soon, there was about a 5-acre Strumbleberry field outside the village, being carefully cultivated. Birds and squirrels were eating some of these, and propagating them more. The women were even giving their very young children these Strumbleberries, so that the Strumbleberries took over their minds as well. Next, people from a neighboring village came with some things to trade. This village of course, had a new item to trade - Strumbleberries. They were commonly called "strawberries" by that time. First, they gave some of these strawberries to their neighbors as goodwill. The chief said "Hmmmmm! Delicious!" They traded some of these strawberry plants for a good price of meat, and fruit, and clothing. Next month, they were growing outside the neighboring village too! Agriculture was born, brought by the Strumbleberries.
The next generation which started as children having had their minds taken over at a very young age, invented fire. The following generation invented tools - both implements for cultivating, and spears and bows. Civilization was born, and this civilization became better and better able to serve the needs of Strumbleberries. Even transportation was born, and this further spread Strumbleberries throughout the world.
Thus, the human race has been successfully enslaved by the Strumbleberries, through Spiff's peaceful means. We don't even mind, and most people have not even noticed! But, next time you put a strawberry into your body, carefully consider what you're doing. You are merely a tool being used to propagate Strumbleberries. Be even more careful about putting them inside the body of a young, trusting child. That child is having her mind subtly taken over!
|This story has evolved over time. It started with a joke between a former housemate and myself. Many people contributed to these ideas. After a number of years, I just HAD TO write it down. Yet, I am not sure what to do with it, so I have been doing nothing with it. I thought about getting an artist to illustrate it, simplifying the language and selling it as a children's book, but I decided against that. So, I will put it out here. The themes are good in the story from all of my beliefs, and the story is quite enjoyable.|