A spoonful of broccoli is bad news!

There was a rule in the Barnett household - if you asked for seconds, you had to eat them! Which was all very well, until one Thursday . . . Ben was in a rush to play with his friend Sean, because Sean's cousin, Joanne, was coming over. It was fun playing with Joanne because she's deaf and was teaching Ben to 'talk' in sign language. He had eaten his first course quickly and was hoping to grab an apple and be off. His big sister Mollie was concentrating on chewing each mouthful properly.

Mum was in the kitchen. She cheerily called through the hatch to the dining room, "Spare vegetables - who would like some broccoli?"

Ben had his back to the hatch. "Yuk," he said under his breath, "I'm allergic to everything green."

"No you are not," retorted Mollie. "You like green sweets and lime jelly."

"Well . . . so," said Ben moodily, and then his voice got gradually louder, "I definitely do not want any MORE VEGETABLES!"

"Don't forget to say please, Ben," said Mum. "Broccoli coming up." Before Ben could do anything, a huge chunk of broccoli had landed on his plate! It looked like a sucking sort of plant from another planet!

"Hee hee," giggled Mollie. Ben pulled faces.

"Come on Ben," said Mum. "I clearly heard you say 'MORE VEGETABLES'."

Ben looked mutinous - "I didn't ask for it," he said stroppily. "Anyway my friends are waiting; I've got to go."

"You know the seconds rule," chanted Mollie. Ben looked at the broccoli and felt sick. He looked at Mum and Mollie with dislike in his eyes.

"Ben," said Mum warningly. "There are plenty of people in the world who are hungry . . ." But Ben didn't hear. He had rushed upstairs to his room. They heard the bedroom door slam.