Music On Your Plate. Audio story narrated in British English.

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Story narrated by Sharon Brogden. You can read the complete story text below

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Text of this story

Anna Dyatt was driving every doctor in the area mad. Her dad had a belly which he used to open doors with, and her mum was of similar proportions; but Anna was a very slim and svelte girl. Anna had always been very picky about food. Her parents said she hardly ever ate the wonderful stews or fabulous pizzas made by her mother. Neither did she enjoy, as her father clearly did, all the delicious tarts and ice creams they would snack on every evening. When people asked her why she ate so little, Anna would not know what to say; she only knew that she would prefer to have other things to eat. Naturally, everyone wondered who she had taken after...

One day, Anna went to see a new doctor. Although this new doctor was rather old, he looked fantastic; a lot different from those other doctors with fat bellies, who always looked so tired when they had to get up and walk anywhere. When Anna's parents told the doctor about her problems with food, the doctor was very interested. He took them all to a dark, quiet room which contained a strange machine. The machine looked a bit like an old-fashioned speaker.

-"Come here, Anna, put this on,"

said the doctor, as he put a helmet covered with lights and buttons, on her head. This helmet was connected to the machine by a few wires.

When the helmet was on, the doctor left and came back with a plateful of fish. He placed it in front of Anna, and cranked the machine up.

Immediately, the machine started playing sounds of the sea: waves crashing on the shore, the relaxing sound of dolphin and whale calls... It was an enchanting music, and they listened to it for some time before the doctor again went out, and returned to replace the fish with a dish of fruit and vegetables.

The sounds of the sea subsided, and in their place came the sound of breezes blowing through tree leaves, birdsong, and the sound of raindrops. Any of them could have happily spent hours listening to those soothing sounds of nature, but the doctor changed the plate again, and this time it was a dish full of meat.

The machine started making more lively sounds; the sound of farm animals, crying and calling across fields and prairies. This wasn't as beautiful and relaxing as the previous sounds, but it was still quite pleasant and evocative. Then the doctor came into the room with an enormous, strong-smelling pizza, which really made Anna's parents' mouths water. When he set the dish down, the machine seemed to break down, and instead of some beautiful sound, out came a horrible din, like some accident in a shipyard.

-"No, it hasn't broken. It's supposed to sound like that,"

the doctor reassured them. However, the noise was so disturbing, that the family had to ask the doctor to please change the type of food. The doctor came back with plate after plate: ice creams, sweets, burgers, candy... but they all provoked sounds which were equally as ugly as that of the pizza. So much so, that Anna's parents asked the doctor to put the plate of fruit back there.

-"What I'm showing you both is that Anna is not ill at all,"

said the doctor, who could see that the parents were starting to understand.

-"She has the gift of being able to mentally interpret each type of food's own signature tune. This music comes from where the food was born, raised, and prepared. It's entirely natural that Anna would want to eat the foods whose music is most beautiful. And that's why she's so slim, healthy, and fit."

Then the doctor told them all the marvellous story of that machine, which he had invented for himself. However, what most impressed Mr and Mrs Dyatt was when they themselves put on the helmet and tried the machine. They too could generate the same kind of music which Anna's mind had; except the volume was much lower.

So Anna’s parents left the doctor's surgery ready, in future, to pay more attention to the barely audible music they heard inside when seeing food. And, from that day, in the Dyatt house, pizzas, burgers, puddings, and ice creams were replaced by fruit, vegetables, and fish.

These days, they all look fantastic, and if you meet a Dyatt they'll be sure to ask you their favourite question:

What did your dinner sound like today?

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