THERE WAS ONCE A CHILI PEPPER that lived in a grocery store who dreamed of becoming a fire-fighter. She would picture herself fighting against huge flames, wearing the typical red uniform of the firefighter, and holding a fire hose in her arms. “A brave firefighter”, she would say every time the other fruit and vegetables asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.
The firefighter chili pepper
But they would rather laugh at her dream, as chili peppers are known as ‘fiery’. Furthermore, every time somebody would kiss her on the cheek, they would feel a slight burn. “Just don’t set us on fire”, they would make fun of her and she was disappointed to hear them scold her big dream.
So one day, she plucked up the courage to present herself in the nearest Fire Brigade. “As a citizen of this country, I would like to become a volunteer firefighter”, she told the officer that was sitting in the reception. With a smirk on his face, he accepted her application but explained to her she was far from ready: she would have to train hard, read many books, and follow a very specific set of exercises with professional firefighters on how to extinguish a real fire. After she had gone through all of this, she would receive an official certification that she had completed her training as a volunteer firefighter.
In the following days, the chili pepper learned all that she had to in order to put down a fire: how to properly communicate with the other firefighters, how to give first aid, how to use a fire hose and how to protect herself from the flames. They also gave her a uniform, a fire extinguisher and a radio to use so as to call the fire brigade soon the need arise. From her side, she did her best to succeed in her tasks and perform well in her exercises. So impressed were her trainers by her devotion that the very day they handed over the certification to her, they also gave her a small prize in the form of a golden fire extinguisher.
The chili pepper was so happy for her success that she wanted to celebrate with the other fruit and vegetables. As soon as she was back in the grocery store however, an unexpected sight awaited her: huge flames were coming out of the windows of the building, and a thick cloud of smoke had covered everything. The fruit and vegetables were running as fast as they could to save themselves, screaming at each other: “Fire! Run for your lives! Somebody call the fire brigade!”.
As soon as she realized what was going on, she lost no time. She immediately called the headquarters with her radio and asked for help. She then put on her helmet and her uniform, grabbed a fire extinguisher and a bucket full of water and stormed the building. She then heard the other fruit and vegetables saying: “The onion is trapped in his crate, somebody save him!”. The chili pepper then started searching everywhere in the room, moving carefully from side to side so as not to be touched by the flames. With much effort she found the poor onion who was trapped under a heap of burning planks and who was sweating all over from the heat. After removing the obstacles, she set him free and they both ran out of the building to find safety.
Just the very moment when the store was about to collapse, the fire brigade arrived who extinguished the fire using water and foam. As soon as the threat was over, the fruit and vegetables thanked the chili pepper and apologized to her for not taking her dream seriously. Along with them came the firefighters, who were so amazed by her bravery and fighting spirit that they asked from their service to promote her to the professional ranks.
Rumor has it that many years later, and after giving numerous battles with huge flames and never to lose a single one, the chili pepper became head of the fire brigade.