Black Eyed Pea

Four silly friends met one summer morning
And decided to take a trip.
A broom straw, a coal of fire, a little round pea
And a grandma wearing a slip.

They walked all day under sun and cloud
‘Til they came to a little stream.
Round Pea said, “If we’re going to cross over,
We’ll all have to work as a team.”

Now Round Pea liked to play terrible pranks
And laugh at the people he hurt,
So he told his three friends to gather around
And he mapped out a plan in the dirt.

Broomstraw would be a bridge for the friends
That the others could all walk across.
The friends all agreed to Round Pea’s scheme,
Though they wondered just who made him boss.

So Broomstraw made of himself a bridge
That stretched from side to side.
It wasn’t that Broomstraw was so terribly long,
The stream just wasn’t so wide.

Little Round Pea was the first to go over
And he giggled as he trotted across.
If the others fell in, he thought to himself,
It wouldn’t be much of a loss.

Grandma came next as she held up her slip,
Being careful of each shaky step.
Some grandma’s are old with lots of gray hair
But this one was still full of pep.

Then little Round Pea told the coal of fire,
That he should cross over the stream.
The straw burnt in two, they fell in the water
Leaving only some bubbles and steam.

Now little Round Pea thought it all was so funny
That he laughed ’til he split down the side.
It wasn’t a small hole that was easy to fix,
You could see that the split was quite wide.

Now two friends were gone and Round Pea was split,
It wasn’t a very good trip.
Grandmas always have lots in their purses
And with black thread she sewed up the rip.

Round Pea no longer was perfectly round
And, he had a black spot you could see.
And from that day on, he’d always be called,
You guessed it, a BLACK-EYED-PEA.

The story told by Black Eyed Pea is not original. I think that it is an old folk story, whatever that is. I know that my dad used to tell it to my sister and me. I don’t know if it is the result of hearing the story or not but I have always liked black-eyed peas. However for further proof, my wife Ruth doesn’t care for them and she had never heard the story.

If nothing else, having stories to tell at the table is good for family interaction. I hope that your family has as much fun with the vegetable stories as our family did.


#1 peggy neal on 12.31.10 at 5:41 pm

Still remember my mom telling me this as a child and I am now 70yrs old telling it to my grandchildren

Ms. Peggy

#2 wayne on 01.02.11 at 10:58 pm

Ms Peggy,
My dad told it to me but I heard it first because I am 75. Have you noticed how rhyme helps you remember something. Tell a child a story and he can repeat the main parts back to you but read it to him in rhyme and after a while, he will be able to recite it. I’m sure that you remember the rhymes from your childhood.

#3 CAP on 02.04.12 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for your poetic version. I remember this tale a t the table from over 73 years ago.

Our tale was told to motivate me to eat the peas.

It included a line for the straw to object to the coal crossing, lest he be burned up. The pea assured him he would fast enough to cause no harm.

However the speedy caol was distracted by his reflection in the water and stopped to look, thereby burning the straw in two causing both to fall into the stream. The coal went out with a hiss and the straw pieces floated away. This caused the pea split open from laughing.


#4 Jeremy on 02.08.13 at 4:32 pm

That poem about black eyed peas is very funny. You know that I love back eyed peas they tested so good and black eyed peas are very good for you.At my Great Papa house when I was 7 years old I helped him shall black eyed peas and then it them it was very good

#5 Jeremy on 02.08.13 at 4:33 pm

I mean eat them is what I was trying to say

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