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The Legend of Chateau Meddybemps
Once upon a time on the Island of Meddybemps, two elderly witches walked along the bank of a little stream. They were collecting toadstools and newts and other nasty things vital to the making of spells. Tippity Witchet was a good and kindly witch. Her sister Frogwart wasn't exactly evil, but she did have a wicked sense of humor.
Now it happens that Tippity Witchet was an excellent cook. She lived in a cheerful cottage and worked magic in her kitchen with everything from antipasto to zucchinis. Her cakes, pies, and home-made candies were absolutely scrumptious! She also tended an orderly and prolific garden - full of fragrant herbs, perfect vegetables, and brilliant flowers. Frogwart, on the other hand, lived in a cottage deep in the woods and made only pitiful stews and pot pies. But she was proud of her garden of thorns and thistles and creepy bugs - "My own little nature preserve", she liked to boast.
From time to time, out of boredom or when for some reason she was envious of her sister, Frogwart would make a little mischief. She especially liked to turn herself into a mole and raid Tippity's garden. On this particular day, she was in one of those rascally moods.
When the two sisters came upon a vine laden with ripe bean pods, Tippity popped one open and tasted one of the beans inside. She thought for a moment and said, smiling, "With a bit of my magic, I could grow candies the size of these beans - in bright colors - maybe some jelly inside - little jelly beans! I'll take these home and plant them straight away." Delighted with herself, she filled her pockets with beans and cast a cheerful spell upon them.
Frogwart saw her opportunity and seized it. Glaring at Tippity's bulging pockets, she made up the meanest spell she could think of, "These beans may grow. I can't stop your fun, but those who eat jelly beans will turn into one!" Frogwart cackled merrily and vanished in a puff of purple mist.
Tippity Witchet peeked into her pockets, expecting to see her beans discolored or shrivelled by Frogwart's spell. They still glowed from her own enchantment, though they weren't as bright and healthy-looking as they should have been.
"I'll still plant them", she decided, "and the vines that grow will bear delicious jelly beans. But I do think Frogwart's spell could have some strange effects. So I shall warn people not to eat too many, for if they do, they might indeed turn into jelly beans."
Tippity Witchet's vines grew well in the island soil. Tropical rain showers caused the beans to swell quickly. The rainbows that followed saturated them with vibrant colors and flavors. Soon there were more beans than she knew what to do with. She shared some with friends and opened a little roadside stand to sell the rest. Before long, her garden grew into a fine vineyard and the roadside stand was replaced with a grand chateau.
Eventually, Tippity Witchet retired and moved into an old windmill near the seashore. An order of cheerful monks now run the vineyard for her. To this day, this warning is printed on every package from Chateau Meddybemps: "Bean Appetit! But remember, don't eat too many jelly beans or you might turn into one!"
Tippity's success might have driven Frogwart absolutely bonkers but she's actually having great fun - which leads us to Beano Sapiens(TM). Frogwart does her best to erase the warnings on jelly bean packages. So, naturally, whenever people eat too many Chateau Meddybemps jelly beans, POOF! They turn into Beano Sapiens (you can almost hear Frogwart cackle when it happens).
So now you know the origin of Beano Sapiens. All this supposedly took place long ago and it is certainly difficult to believe but... As you browse through this guide, you will find your curiousity aroused. As you begin to spot Beano Sapiens around you, you may find your disbelief suspended permanently.
Discover Bean Spotting
It's easy - and fun. It's a lot like Bird Watching, only you don't have to slog through the woods at dawn to have a good time. In fact, your local shopping mall is a Bean Spotter's Paradise.
Browse through the Gallery of Recent Sightings and the Gallery Archives to familiarize yourself with the painstakingly accurate illustrations and concise descriptions of the most common Beans. Order a printed full-color copy of the Bean Spotter's Guide (should it ever become available) to carry with you for positive, on-the-spot identification. (In the meantime, print out these pages and make your own guide). Note the helpful Bean Watching Tips, outfit yourself with The Right Stuff, and go for it!
With the help of this guide, you'll soon be spotting Beano Sapiens in the biggest crowds with the confidence and discretion of the world's best beaners. People will be impressed.
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© 1995, 1997, 2000 Jerry Jindrich. All rights reserved.