Ruben came in for breakfast at his usual table. He sat by the window so he could watch the sun rise, even though it hurt his eyes. Today, there was a mother sitting at the neighboring table with her young son. It seemed the boy couldn’t have been over two, but he was bad at guessing the ages of children. The child was young enough to confuse oranges with beets and the mother was explaining beets to him. How beautiful, Ruben thought, to explain beets to someone.
They are a vegetable, a root vegetable like a carrot, which means that they grow in the ground. They are often red, but can also be gold, not unlike the oranges. Unlike the oranges, you have to cook them to eat them, otherwise they are much too hard. Once cooked they are soft and earthy and just a little bit sweet. Ruben would guess that the earthiness comes from growing in the ground and the sweetness comes from the sugar they contain. He likes to eat them best with butter and salt—lots of things are best that way.
He would very probably never get to say any of this out loud because he knew what a beet was and everyone he knew already knew what a beet was, too. What a wonderful privilege to be able to explain a beet to a person who did not yet know.