Dave and his candy bar had wandered off from the group in order to be alone for a bit. They found a secluded part of the park and Dave sat down on the grass, holding the candy bar gently but firmly in his left hand. It was sort of an open area, surrounded by trees, slightly rounded and maybe twenty feet in diameter…although, being only six years old, Dave probably didn’t know what a diameter was.
The candy bar certainly didn’t know.
Had you been in the clearing with him that day…well, first of all, you’d see something really weird happen in a minute…but you’d also probably think that Dave was a pretty typical kid. Certainly he didn’t look all that unusual, and might easily have blended in with a crowd of quiet children. But it wouldn’t last because, sooner or later, the other kids would get a bit rambunctious and want to run and play and make a lot of noise…but not Dave. Dave hardly ever spoke, didn’t like to run around and make noise, and usually preferred to sit quietly on his own. Not that he didn’t like the other kids or anything, he just liked sitting quietly and reading a book or watching a video, or, in this case, eating a candy bar. The other kids liked Dave all right, but some of them were put off by his gentle, quiet ways.
Thus isolated, Dave proceeded to carefully unwrap the candy bar and was about to take the first bite, when he saw lights in the sky above his head. He looked up and was understandably surprised to see a spaceship descending from the sky. He watched in amazement as the spaceship settled down only a few feet from where he was seated.
When the ship had landed, a door slid open on one side and a ramp descended. There appeared a creature which could only be described as an alien. Tall, green, with six long fingers on each hand (making for a total of twenty-four fingers overall), big black eyes and legs which looked more like tentacles. It was wearing a blue outfit and seemed, to Dave at least, to be smiling.
This creature walked (more like slithered) up to Dave and spoke in a surprisingly friendly voice: “Greetings, Earth Human. My name is Gygar and I am from the planet Ramzok many, many lightyears from here. My people and I have been observing this planet for one thousand geldars, or slightly less than ninety-two of your Earth years. And, frankly, we have not been happy with what we have seen. Half of you are starving, while the other half is obese. Ninety-nine percent of you work like dogs to maintain the lifestyle of the one percent who have all the money. You go to war with people who have a slightly different interpretation of books written eons before any of you were ever even born. And the less said about what you watch on television, the better. We have therefore decided that, for the good of the universe, your planet will be destroyed.
“We are not, however, without mercy, which is why I have come here today: To offer your species one last chance to redeem yourselves. We selected you at random out of all six and a half billion humans on this planet to be an envoy for all mankind. If you can give me one good reason not to blow up the Earth, I will not. So, human, for the sake of all life on this planet, I ask you: why should the Earth be spared?”
For a moment, Dave said nothing. It was a lot to take in after all. Suddenly the weight of the world was resting on his six-year-old shoulders and he wasn’t sure he was up to it. In fact, he thought seriously about just crying and running away, but he figured that would probably count as a forfeit and Gygar would blow up the Earth. So, scrabbling around for an idea, he looked down at his hands. That’s when a thought occurred to him and he extended his left arm.
Confused, Gygar opened his hand and allowed the small human to drop something brown and half-covered by a plastic wrapper in his alien hand. He had never seen anything like it before, so he wasn’t sure what it was. He looked at it carefully, then looked down at Dave. Dave mimed eating, explaining to the alien what he was supposed to do with the candy bar. Gygar shrugged and bit into the chocolate…
And his eyes, already large, grew wide. And his smile broadened. He licked his lips and took another bite…and another…and another…
“This is the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted!” cried Gygar. “What do you call it? Oh, wait, it says here on the wrapper…‘Cho-Co-Late?’” He pronounced the ‘O’s and the ‘A’ wrong, but it was close enough and Dave nodded. “And you say you make this here on Earth?” Dave nodded. “Well! I think we’d better just take another look at this whole situation. Thank you, Small Human. Oh, here,” he added, holding what was left of the candy bar out to Dave. But Dave shook his head. “You mean I can have it?” Dave nodded. “Wow! Thanks!” With that, Gygar turned around, got back into his spaceship and took off into the sky.
It was about this time that Dave was found by his teacher and returned to the group. He had no way of knowing that after their conversation, Gygar had accessed his ship’s vast database of information and learned that chocolate needs to be grown at very precise temperatures and that, of all the planets in civilized space, only Earth had the necessary conditions to produce the delicious crop.
And that’s how this quiet little boy saved the entire world and introduced chocolate to the other end of the galaxy. Next time you see him, say thanks.