Tippy toes baby food reviews

EWG's Food Scores | Tippy Toes Organic Carrots Organic Baby Food, Carrots

EWG Overall Score Breakdown

The product score is based on weighted scores for nutrition, ingredient and processing concerns. Generally, nutrition counts most, ingredient concerns next and degree of processing least. The weighted scores are added together to determine the final score.

Lower concern

Higher concern

Lower concern

Higher concern

Read our full methodology

Considers calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, sodium, protein, fiber and fruit, vegetable and nut content to differentiate between healthful and less healthful foods. For more information on nutrition concerns, read our full methodology.

The nutrition factors used for scoring Tippy Toes Organic Carrots Organic Baby Food, Carrots

Positive factors

Fruit, vegetable, bean or nut content

Protein content

Fiber content

Omega-3 fatty acids

Negative factors

Calorie density

Sugar/low-calorie sweetener content

Sodium content

Saturated fat content

Trans fat content

Considers food additives, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and contaminants like mercury and BPA, which can affect human health and the environment. For more information on ingredient concerns, read methodology.

Certified organic product []

No ingredient concerns identified for this product []

Estimates how much the food has been processed. Considers many factors, chief among them, modification of individual ingredients from whole foods and number of artificial ingredients. For more information on processing concerns, read our full methodology.

Product has been classified as having no processing concerns

Products with no processing concerns identified are generally whole foods without additives.

Please note that EWG obtains the displayed images of products from third parties and that the product's manufacturer or packager may change the product's packaging at any point in time. Therefore, EWG assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of images presented.


1. 0 1.0 % Total Fat 0 g
10.0 10.0 % Total Carbs 10 g
% Protein


% Saturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0.0g
% Cholesterol 0 mg
% Sodium 70 mg
Added Sugar Ingredients: none listed


% Dietary Fiber 3 g
Vitamin D (no value on present label)
100.0 100.0 % Vitamin A
8.0 8.0 % Calcium
2.0 2.0 % Iron
30.0 30.0 % Potassium 230 mg

† Institute of Medicine. 2010. "Dietary Reference Intakes Tables and Application. " Accessed April 8, 2014: link

Buying Guide: 9 Best Organic Baby Food Pouches 2022

Home » Feeding Style » Baby Food Purees » Stage Two » Buying Guide: 9 Best Organic Baby Food Pouches

9 Best Organic Baby Food Pouches – an expert review of the best tried-and-true brands! I tested all 9 baby food pouches for consistency, taste, ingredients and price and come up with my 4 winners! Easy guide on the best store-bought baby food pouches to serve baby!

Best Baby Food Pouches

I get it.

You may not want to make all of your own baby food, or you are in a pinch and are traveling or heading to a playdate without a stash of puree on you.

You need a go-to brand of store-bought baby food that’s as delicious as it is nutritious.

So I rounded up 9 of the top brands of store-bought organic baby foods and put them through my rigorous testing.

I tested them for consistency, taste, price and ingredients <—— yes, you read that right, I tasted each and every baby food puree in this post!

And I was actually surprised what I discovered.

More than half of them I would feed to my own babies! But a couple of them I would pass up in the market in a heart beat.

There were clearly 4 amazing winners (see below for the official awards).

And find out which ones to avoid.

A couple of things before you see the results:

  • I bought all of these baby food purees at my local Target, Whole Foods or King Soopers. If you can’t find them at your local grocery stores, or you want front door service, you can order all of these pouches directly from amazon with the links provided.
  • This is not a sponsored post. Non of these brands have paid me, or even know I am posting this. This is just my honest expert opinion.
  • No pouches are recyclable through a city recycling program, which a big bummer. You can however recycle them through TerraCycle. I also know that some preschools and baby stores in some cities already have these recycle programs in place for you to use.

Organic Baby Food Pouches Reviewed:
  • Happy Baby Organics
  • Gerber Organic
  • Plum Organics
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Earths Best
  • Sprout
  • Once Upon a Farm
  • NuturME
  • Mama Bear

Organic Baby Food Pouch Winners!!
Best Overall Pouch: Plum Organics
Best Priced Pouch: Mama Bear
Best Tasting Pouch: NuturMe
Best Ingredients: Happy Baby


Happy Baby Organics – Winner of Best Ingredients

I taste-tested these two Happy Baby Organics Baby Food Pouches:

  • Apples, Pumpkin & Carrots Puree
  • Pears, Kale & Spinach Puree

Overall:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4/5 stars

Notes: Smooth puree with hints of the real food but rounded out to be a little bland with a hint of tartness. Not a bad puree, just a mild taste that would be great for baby’s with sensitive taste buds. Love the ingredient list saying how much produce is in each pouch!

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Price: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars (average 0.36/ounce)

Try a bunch of flavors with their Assorted Variety Pouch Pack!

Gerber Organic

I taste-tested these two Gerber Organic Baby Food Pouches:

  • Apple, Carrot, Squash Puree
  • Banana, Blueberry, Blackberry, Oatmeal Puree

Overall: ⭐️⭐️ 2/5 stars

Notes: The apple, carrot and squash puree was watery. The Oatmeal puree contains wheat, which I thought was an unnecessary ingredient for a baby puree. Both were VERY sweet and I thought they had added concentrated apple juice or something. Overall, not my favorite purees.

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️ 2/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️ 2/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️ 2/5 stars
Price: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars (average 0.38/ounce)

Plum Organics – Winner of Best Overall Pouch

I taste-tested these two Plum Organics Baby Food Pouches:

  • Apple & Carrot Baby Food Puree
  • Apple, Plum, Berry & Barley Baby Food Puree

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4.5/5 stars

Notes: These two baby food purees surprised me because I could actually taste the individual flavors of the produce in each pouch! Not overly sweet or tart. Overall, one of my favorite pouches!

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Price: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars (average 0. 33/ounce)

Try a bunch of flavors with their Plum Organics Stage 2 Fruit & Veggie Variety Pack.

Peter Rabbit Organics

I taste-tested these two Peter Rabbit Organics Baby Food Pouches:

  • Banana, Raspberry & Blueberry Puree
  • Banana, Mango, Broccoli & Kale Puree

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars

Notes: The consistency was so amazing – thick and smooth, but the taste was too sweet and you couldn’t taste anything but banana. Would be great for desserts or special purees for baby.

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️ 2/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Price: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars (average 0.38/ounce)

Earth’s Best

I taste-tested these two Earth’s Best Baby Food Pouches:

  • Pear, Carrot Apricot Baby Food Puree
  • Banana Blueberry Baby Food Puree

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3. 5/5 stars

Notes: Not too sweet or tart. Okay, if not on the blander side. Would be great for babies with more sensitive palettes.

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars
Price: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars (average 0.29/ounce)

Try several flavors with the Earth’s Best Vegetable and Fruit Variety Pack.


I taste-tested these two Sprout Baby Food Pouches:

  • Carrot Apple Mango
  • Apple Blueberry

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars

Notes: I was completely surprised by this one. They both tasted like real food! Not too sweet, just right. Filled with great ingredients. Would definitely feed these pouches to my girls.

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Price: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars (average 0. 40/ounce)

Would definitely recommend trying out this Sprout Organic 12 Flavor Variety Sampler!

Once Upon A Farm

I taste-tested these two Once Upon A Farm Baby Food Pouches:

  • Sun-Shiny Strawberry Patch
  • Green Kale & Apple

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars

Notes: I really really wanted to love this brand of baby food, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me, especially for the price. The strawberry patch was way too watery and the green kale had a very intense kale flavor that I think most babies would be turned off of. Their ingredients and method of making their purees (cold press so you don’t lose any nutrients) is the most creative and nutrient dense of the bunch, so I am giving them some credit for that.

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Price: ⭐️ 1/5 stars (average 0. 90/ounce)

NuturME – Winner of Best Tasting Pouch

I taste-tested these two NuturMe Baby Food Pouches:

  • Apple – Pumpkin – Beet
  • Banana – Pumpkin – Celery

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4.5/5 stars

Notes: I was completely surprised by this brand – it was delicious! Great consistency, taste and ingredients! They are a newer company, so they are priced a little higher than their competition, but in my foodie opinion, it’s so worth it.

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Price: ⭐️⭐️ 2/5 stars (average 0.58/ounce)

I would for sure put this NuturMe Power Blends Variety Pack on Subscribe and Save – it’s so worth it!

Mama Bear – Winner of
Best Priced Pouch

I taste-tested these two Mama Bear Baby Food Pouches:

  • Pumpkin, Apple, Peach, Buckwheat
  • Pear, Apple, Broccoli

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars

Notes: This puree was a little too sweet and acidic at the same time. The price is surprisingly the cheapest of the bunch, so I might try some more flavors, but I wouldn’t order these two again.
Update: I tried the Apple Banana and the Mango, Apple, Carrot and Peach and those were much better tasting.

Consistency: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars
Taste: ⭐️⭐️ 2/5 stars
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
Price: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 start (average 0.27/ounce)


  • 7 Organic Starter Baby Purees for Under $20
  • 15 Stage One Baby Purees (that actually taste delicious)
  • 10 Super Starter Purees for Baby (Tips, Recipes and Starters Guide on How to Feed Baby)
  • 5 Minute Mango Baby Food Puree
  • Roasted Butternut Squash + Thyme Baby Food Puree

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @babyfoode on Instagram and hashtag it #babyfoode!

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90,000 set with Mattel Montel Monster High Cafe Fingers. You will bite off DPM07

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    Monster High


    from 6 years old

    Reviews with Mattel Montel Monster High Cafe DPM07


    Monster High




    From 6 years old



    Dispatch city:

    Odessa, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Dnipro, Lvov


    within Ukraine, Pickup

    Description Mattel Monster High doll set The resolute Draculaura opens her cafe under the terrible name "Bite off Fingers", in which school students can taste delicious sandwiches and drinks.

    The cafe has a bar counter with a guillotine, where the girl cooks terribly delicious dishes. You can sit down to eat at the table and chairs. The design of the cafe is made in the appropriate theme and is in harmony with the outfit of the hostess. Look how cute Draculaura looks, which does not change her taste. She is wearing a black top with pink batwings and a pink skirt. Come to lunch in a stylish cafe, and you will be terribly satisfied!
    Mattel Inc is an American company, the world's largest toy manufacturer, producing the famous Monster High dolls based on the cartoon about the school of monsters. The official release of the dolls took place in July 2010. The characters in this series are inspired by horror movies and classic monster stories, making Monster High stand out from other fashion dolls. Bright, original Monster High and Ever After High are distinguished not only by their unusual appearance, but also by a unique story for each character, which can be endlessly developed during games. For a more realistic play with the doll, a variety of accessories are available. All products of the brand are of the highest quality and are made using modern technologies.
    Recommended for children from 6 years old.
    Includes: Draculaura doll, bar counter with accessories for preparing terribly delicious treats, table with two chairs.
    Doll height: 28 cm.
    Material: plastic, textile.
    Package dimensions: 29x38x11.5 cm.

    Recommended with this product 1 review0003

    After breakfast, it's a long day that promises to drag on, too hot, too bright for activities that require movement. She wants to sleep in the sun, on the beach, but she is careful, she does not want to turn into a grilled chicken. She needs suntan lotion and a hat. After that, she can do something active: sightseeing, local entertainment, tennis courts, famous hotels and restaurants… If she can find it.

    Rennie knows that the tropics are exhausting, you lose your bearings, you fall into a half-coma, into laxity. So the most important thing is not to stop. She will have to convince herself that if she fails to complete a conscientious and lively article on the delights of Saint-Antoine, this will have a negative effect on the universe.

    Maybe I should have written this article from beginning to end, inventing a couple of fabulous restaurants, a kind of Old World charm in the New, spice it all up with photographs from lesser-known parts of the Caribbean - say, St. Kitts. She imagined the crowds of businessmen besieging Saint-Antoine, and then, in a rage, the editors of the Vyzor. It won’t work, she’ll have to sweat, after all, she has exceeded the limit in the bank. In the end, she can speculate about the potential for development.

    What I miss is a colonial helmet, porters, or, like them, rickshaws, so that they drag me in a hammock, and I sip - what everyone drinks there at Somerset Maugham's - pink gin.

    * * *

    Rennie does it because she's good at it, at least that's what she says at parties. And also because she can’t do anything else, but she just doesn’t say that. Once she had ambitions - now she calls them illusions: she believed that there was “the same man”, and not a series of “almost the same ones”; believed that there was a "real story" and not a bunch of "almost real ones." But that was 1970 and she was in college. At that time it was easy to believe in such things. She decided to specialize in abuse: absolute honesty would be her main principle. She wrote an article in Univer about real estate speculation by urban developers, then another about the lack of good kindergartens, which is important for single mothers, and began to receive letters with insults, and sometimes even threats, which she perceived as proof of her efficiency.

    When she graduated from college, 1970 was far in the past. Several editors immediately told her that, of course, she can write what she wants, it is not prohibited by law, but no one is obliged to pay her for it. One of them remarked that at heart she was still a young Baptist from southern Ontario. No, I'm from the United Church, she said. But it was embarrassing.

    And instead of articles about social plagues, she began to do interviews with people who suffered from them. It was much easier to sell them. What is the “ideal” wardrobe for a picket, why you simply need a denim overall, what feminists eat for breakfast. The editors said that in any case, it comes out much better for her. "Protest chic," they called her theme. Once she was in dire need of cash, and she hastily scribbled an article about the return of veiled hats. It wasn't particularly protesting, but the "chic" remained, and she convinced herself not to worry about it.

    Now that she's rid of her illusions, Rennie considers her brand of honesty less of a virtue than a perversion that she still suffers from, that's true; but, like psoriasis and hemorrhoids, also typical Griswold ailments, it can be kept under control. Why expose everything to the public? Her veiled honesty - there is no doubt about it - is a professional duty.

    Others lack these principles. Everything is relative, everything is fashionable. When an event or a person is praised too widely, you simply change the epithets to antonyms. And no one considers this a perversion, this is the essence of business, and business with large turnovers. You write about something until people get tired of reading about it or until you get tired of writing about it, and if you do it well and if you're lucky, both signs are the same. And you start writing about something new.

    There is still too much of Griswold in Rennie, so this approach infuriates her at times. Last year, she walked into the Toronto Star just as one of the junior editors was putting together another list. The New Year was approaching, everyone drank white wine from cardboard boxes, pouring it into disposable cups, and rolled with laughter. It was tradition. Sometimes such a list was called "Yes - No", sometimes "Plus - Minus"; they instilled confidence in people, including the compilers themselves. It seemed to them that they really knew how to distinguish differences, make choices, and that this justified them in some way. Once upon a time, she herself made such lists.

    This time the list was called "Class: in whom it is and who is not." Ronald Reagan does not, but Pierre Trudeau [5] does. Not in jogging, in modern dance it is, but only if you dance in leggings for jogging, but you are dancing in them, and not running, but if you are in tights with an open back, then - no, but there is - if you are in you swim in it, instead of a swimsuit with inserted cups, this is fu. There was no class at Marilyn's, but there was at Chicken Lick [6] , where they didn't cook chicken anymore.

    - Who else will we knock out? they asked her as she entered, impatiently. — Margaret Trudeau? [7]

    - What about the word "class" itself? she said, and they can't decide if it's funny or not.

    That's her problem. The other is that she is slowly gaining a reputation for being picky. She knows about it, rumors reach; people begin to fear that she will not fulfill her obligations. There is some truth in this: there are more and more things that, it seems to her, she is incapable of. Or rather, she doesn't want to. She wants to say something meaningful. Childhood. She just has a breakdown. It started shortly before the surgery and is only getting worse. Maybe she's having a midlife crisis, only premature. Maybe Griswold is ranting in her head: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything." Not that these maxims meant much to Griswold himself, by the way.

    Two months ago she was ordered a "profile" - material for "Pandora", under the heading "Successful Woman". Ballet dancer, poetess, top manager of a cheese products company, judge, designer who creates shoes with faces from sequins on the toe. Rennie wanted a designer, but she got the judge, because it was supposed to be a more difficult task and that Rennie would be the one to handle it.

    Before the first interview she was suddenly seized by a real panic. The judge was quite pretty, but what could she say?

    - What is it like to be a judge? Rennie asked.

    - What is it like to be anyone? - retorted the judge, by the way, only a year older than Rennie. She smiled back. I love my job.

    The judge has two wonderful children and an adoring husband who did not mind at all that his wife spends so much time on her refereeing, because he also had a job that brought him complete satisfaction and joy. They have a beautiful house, Rennie, no matter how hard she tried, found no flaws in it, with a collection of paintings by promising young artists; the judge decides to take a picture in front of one of them. With every question, Rennie feels younger, dumber, and more helpless. Madame Judge has everything under control, and Rennie begins to perceive this fact as a personal insult.

    "I can't do it," she tells the editor at Pandora. The editor's name is Tippi; they are buddies. She opens her mouth - and from there it seems to be a running line.

    “She's a maniac, she's got everything under control,” says Tippi. - She squeezed the interview from you. You have to turn it around, give an angle to her. Our readers need living people, with armor pierced here and there, with hidden pain. Did she have to suffer while she climbed up?

    “Yes, I asked,” said Rennie (actually, no).

    - Here's what you should do: ask permission to spend the whole day with her. And just follow her. Somewhere, yes, the truth will break through. How did she fall in love with her husband, you ask? Look in the bathroom cabinets, what kind of deodorant she has, "Dry" or "Love", it's important. Spend as much time with them as possible, sooner or later they will split. You must dig. And you don't need dirt - you need the truth.

    Rennie looked at her table - a mess, and at Tippy herself - the personification of a mess. She was about ten years older than Rennie, with greasy unhealthy skin and bags under her eyes. She smoked like a chimney and drank too much coffee. She wore green clothes - not her color. She was a very good journalist and got all the awards before she became editor in chief, and now she taught Rennie to look into other people's lockers. Successful woman.

    Rennie went home. She reread what she had written about the judge and decided that, in fact, that was the real story. Then I tore everything into small pieces and started from scratch.

    “At one time, making a profile meant drawing someone's nose from the side,” she wrote. “Now that means the inside view.”

    She did not advance further.

    * * *

    Rennie takes a camera with her, just in case. She is not a very good photographer, and she knows it herself, but she has mastered the basic skills - this greatly expands her range as a journalist. If you know how to write and take pictures, doors are open everywhere for you - well, so she was told.

    At the reception desk, she takes a printed map of Queenstown and a tourist brochure. That one is called Saint Antoine and Saint Agatha. Discover our twin islands in all their glory." On the cover is a tanned woman, white, laughing against the beach, huddled in a one-piece Spandex swimsuit with a short skirt in front. Next to her, a black man in a huge straw hat sits on the sand, holding in his hand a half of a coconut, from which two tubes stick out. Behind him is a machete leaning against a tree. He looks at the woman, she looks at the camera.

    - When was this published? she asks.

    “We get brochures from the Department of Tourism,” the woman at the counter says. We don't have any others.

    She is English and seems to be the manager or maybe the owner of the hotel. Women of this type have always disarmed Rennie: they can wear khaki wedges and poisonous green tight skirts without realizing how ugly it looks. No doubt the chairs and the tattered plant in the lobby are her fault. Rennie even envies those who are unaware of their deformity: this gives them an advantage - you can’t catch them with anything.

    “As far as I understand, you are a journalist,” the woman says sternly. “Usually yours don’t stop here. You should have gone to Driftwood.

    At first, Rennie can't figure out how she knows, but then she remembers that her declaration, kept in the hotel's safe, says "freelance journalist." A simple inference. It is implied that Rennie should not expect any special treatment - for what reason, and most importantly, she has no reason to count on a discount.

    The hotel is located on the second floor of an old mansion. Rennie descends an outer stone staircase with worn down the middle into a courtyard that smells of urine and gasoline, then through an archway into the street. The sun hits her like a gust of wind, and she frantically rummages through her purse for sunglasses. In a second, she realizes that she stepped over someone's legs, but does not look down. If you look at them, they immediately demand something. She walks along the wall of the hotel with shabby plaster, once white. At the corner it crosses the main road, which is covered with crevices; a thick brown mess churns in the ditch. There are few cars. On the opposite side, she sees a portico supported by columns, and a colonnade, the same framed plinths with a porch in Mexico. It's hard to say how old they are, she'll have to find out. The pamphlet says that the Spaniards have been here for a long time, along with everyone else. According to the apt expression of the authors, "leaving the wonderful aroma of good old Spain."

    She walks in the shadows looking for a pharmacy. No one bothers her, no one even looks in her direction, except for the boy who is trying to sell her overripe bananas. In Mexico, whenever she left Jake at the hotel and went for a walk alone, the men invariably followed her and walked, making obscene sounds. She bought a straw hat, exorbitantly expensive, from a shop that sells batik and necklaces made from fish cartilage shells. And also bags, on the basis of which it is called "Bagatell". Clever, Rennie thinks. Familiar signs everywhere: Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Commercial Bank. Bank buildings are brand new, but are surrounded by old ones.

    At the Bank of Nova Scotia, she cashes a traveler's check. A couple of houses away is a pharmacy, also quite new in appearance; Rennie comes in and says she needs sunscreen.

    “We have methaqualone,” the salesman says as she pays.

    - Excuse me? Rennie says.

    “Any amount,” he says. He is a squat man with a gangster mustache, the sleeves of his pink shirt rolled up to his elbows. - No prescription needed. Take her home to the States,” he says, looking slyly at her. - Earn some money.

    Well, Rennie thinks, she's at the pharmacy. Where else will they offer to “get better” at a piece-rate price. Why be surprised?

    “No thanks,” she says. - Not today.

    – Need something more helpful? the seller asks.

    Rennie asks for more bug spray, and the clerk lazily places the bottle on the counter. He had completely lost interest in her.

    * * *

    Rennie walks up the street to St. Antoine's. “The oldest in town,” the brochure says. The church is surrounded by a cemetery, plots in forged fences, tombstones slanted, overgrown with ivy. On the lawn is a poster calling for family planning: "BIG FAMILY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY." And no hints of what, in fact, is meant. Nearby - another one: "ELLIS - KING"; on the poster is a photograph of a pot-bellied peasant with a Buddha smile. The face on the poster is smeared with red paint.

    Not a soul in the church. It appears to be Catholic, although no clusters of red flickering candles are visible anywhere. Rennie recalls Mexican Madonnas, usually several at once in each church, dressed in red or white, blue or black; you choose to your taste and pray for what your soul hurts. The black mourn the loss. The skirts of all the Madonnas are adorned with tiny tin figurines - tin arms and legs, tin children, sheep, cows and even pigs, in gratitude for salvation - or only in the hope of it. Then it seemed to her some kind of perversion.

    At the entrance to the church there is an altar, and in the back there is a table with a box with compartments on it, here you can buy a postcard; on the western wall is a large painting "by an unknown local artist of the early era," according to the pamphlet. It depicts the temptation of Saint Anthony in the desert. Only this desert abounds with tropical vegetation - bright red juicy flowers, whose fleshy leaves are about to burst from the juice, birds with colorful plumage, with huge beaks and yellow eyes, and Antony himself is black. The demons are noticeably whiter and almost all in female form. St. Anthony is kneeling in prayer, looking up and away from the scaly thighs, breasts and sharp bright scarlet tongues of the demonesses. He's not dressed in the shapeless white sheet she remembers from Griswold's free Sunday School booklets, he's wearing a regular shirt, white, open at the collar, and brown trousers. He is boss. All figures are flat, as if cut out of paper, and do not cast a shadow.

    Postcards with the painting are on sale, and Rennie buys three. She has a notebook with her, but she does not write anything down. Then she goes and sits on the very last bench. I wonder what part of the body she would need to attach to the black Madonna, if she were in Mexico?

    They went there with Jake. It was their first trip together. He did not particularly like churches: they did not evoke strong feelings in him and reminded him of Christians. Christians have an interesting view. Detached. They only think about one thing - how you will look like a bar of soap .

    "I'm a Christian," Rennie said, wanting to tease him.

    “Nothing like that,” Jake replied. “Christians don't have butts. You are just shiksa. This is completely different.

    – Would you like me to sing you some chorale? Rennie said.

    “What a vicious girl,” Jake said. - You turn Me On.

    - Starting up? Rennie said. “I thought you were always on edge.

    A whole week. They were like possessed. They held hands in the street, made love in broad daylight, wooden blinds on old windows saved them from the sun, they were bitten by fleas, any little thing was terribly funny, they bought suspicious cakes and something fried from street stalls and ate greedily, but what ? One day, in a small park, they saw a prohibition sign: "Persons sitting in an inappropriate manner will be punished by the authorities."

    - What nonsense! Rennie said. “Maybe we didn’t translate it that way. In what sense is it "unacceptable"?

    They walked along the crowded night streets, greedy for impressions, fearing nothing. Once at a fiesta, a man with a wicker cage on his head rushed past them, setting off fireworks and crackers.

    “There you are, Mr. General Electric,” Rennie quipped.

    She loved Jake and loved everything. She had the feeling that she was inside a magic circle: nothing could harm her, both of them. And yet, even then, it seemed to her that the circle was slowly beginning to shrink. In Griswold, it was believed that in the end everything is compensated: if one day you are fabulously lucky, then trouble will soon happen. Luck is always bad luck.

    But Rennie refused to feel guilty, even for beggars, even for women in filthy shawls with sunken cheeks (they had almost no teeth), feeding indifferent babies and not even brushing flies from their faces, arms spread out to the sides, for hours in the same pose, like statues. She heard that some of them deliberately injure themselves and even their children in order to pity the tourists. Or was it in India?

    At the end of the week Jake had "Montezuma's revenge". Rennie, walking past a dozen whistling men, bought him a bottle of pink emulsion from a corner pharmacy, which he agreed to drink. But to lie - in any. Jake didn't want her to go anywhere without him, didn't want to miss anything. He sat in a chair with his hands pressed to his stomach, and occasionally wandered to the toilet, and Rennie discussed with him her article "Mexico City: More Budget Than You Thought. "

    “By the way, I have to do another piece for Pandora,” she said. - About male pain. What it is? How is it different from women?

    - What-what? Jake said with a grin. Generally speaking, men don't feel pain. Unless they cut themselves while shaving.

    - Well, no, they recently discovered what they are testing. Research has been done. Evidence has been presented. They wince. Sometimes they twitch. When it hurts a lot, they make eyebrows a house. Well, be a good boy, share with me the secret of male pain. Where do you feel it the most?

    “In the ass,” Jake usually answered such questions. "That's all you want to know."

    “This is my job,” Rennie said. “Without her, I’ll be on the street. Nowhere to go! By the way, you can get rid of the pain if you pull out the awl.

    - This was not an awl. This is the inner core. It was formed during the years that I pretended to be a goy. Girls don't understand this.

    “But we know where you have the other rod,” Rennie said.

    She sat on his knees astride, facing him and began to lick his ear.

    “Have mercy,” he said. - I'm a sick person.

    “Then ask for mercy,” she said. Can guys cry? I don’t know, but we have ways to get you talking…” Rennie switched to the other ear. “You never really get sick. She unbuttoned his shirt and slipped her hands under the fabric. “Creatures with such thick fur simply cannot get seriously ill.

    - Down with the insatiable, animal female lust! Jake said. “You should all be kept in cages.

    He put his arm around her waist, and they began to rock back and forth, and somewhere outside, behind the wooden shutters, a bell rang.

    * * *

    Rennie walks back, keeping in the shadows. She soon realizes that she is not sure where she is. But since she was always going up on the way to the church, it means that now she just needs to go down, towards the harbor. Here she already sees some shops.

    Someone touches her shoulder, she stops, turns around. This is a man, hunched over, he was once taller than he is now. He's wearing well-worn black trousers, his fly open, a buttonless shirt and that same woolen teapot cap. He is barefoot, and it seems to her that she has already seen these pants somewhere. He stands in front of her and smiles. He has gray hairs around his mouth, and almost no teeth left.

    The man makes a fist with his right hand and then points to her, still smiling. She doesn't understand what he wants. He repeats his gesture, apparently deaf-mute or drunk. It suddenly seems to Rennie that she has crossed some invisible boundary and found herself on Mars.

    He brings the fingers of his right hand together, all impatient, finally holds out his hand, palm up, and she understands that he is begging. She opens her purse and takes out a wallet full of change. Just a few cents - and he will fall behind her.

    But no, he's frowning, that's not what he wants. He repeats the gestures in the same order, only faster, Rennie does not understand anything, and she becomes scared. She has a wild idea that he wants her passport, wants to take it away. And without a passport, she cannot return home. She closes her purse and shakes her head, then turns away and continues on her way. What a fool, her passport is in the hotel safe.

    That is, no one knows where. She feels that he is following her. She quickens her pace, the flip flops of her bare feet keeping up. She is almost running. There are more people in the streets, more and more as she goes down, and they notice this little procession, this race, they even stop and stare and laugh, but no one tries to help her. Rennie is close to panic; it is terribly like a nightmare from which she wants to wake up as soon as possible. She doesn't know why he's following her. What did she do?

    Here they are already in a crowd of people, it looks like a market, a space among houses, in Mexico it would be called a square, but here it is just an irregular space surrounded by stalls, and in the center there are a bunch of people and several trucks. Chickens in cages, fruits stacked in clumsy pyramids and wrapped in cloth, plastic buckets, cheap aluminum kitchen utensils. It's noisy, dusty, suddenly like ten degrees hotter; a wave of smells covers her. Music is blaring from the tiny stalls, stuffed to the brim with appliances—Japanese leftovers: cassette players, radios. Rennie makes his way through the thick of people, trying to break away from the man. But he follows her on the heels, it turns out that he is not so decrepit, and now he almost grabbed her hand.

    “Hold on,” Paul says.

    Yes, this is Paul, in the same shorts, but in a blue T-shirt. With a string bag full of lemons. The strange man stands right behind him, as if nothing had happened, with his Halloween pumpkin smile.

    “It's all right,” Paul says. Rennie is panting, her face covered in sweat, she must be all red and looks like an idiot, and inadequate. “He just wants to shake your hand, that's all.

    - How do you know? says Rennie, suddenly anger in her conquers fear. "He was following me!"

    “He's always after women,” says Paul. “Especially for the whites. He is deaf and dumb and not at all dangerous. He wants you to shake his hand, he considers it fortunate.

    Indeed, the man holds out his hand to her, his fingers spread wide.

    - Why on earth? Rennie asks. She calmed down a little, but did not resign herself. - What happiness from me.

    - Not from you, says Paul. – For you.

    Now Rennie feels rude and ungrateful, because he just wanted to give her something. She forces herself to put her hand on the old man's. He squeezes it with his fingers and holds it for a few seconds. Then he lets go, smiles again with a gap-toothed mouth, and, turning, disappears into the crowd.

    Rennie feels as if she has been rescued.

    “You should sit down,” Paul says.

    Still holding her by the elbow, he pulls her towards the cafe at the shop - a couple of wobbly tables covered with oilcloth - and sits her on a chair against the wall.

    “Don't worry,” Rennie says.

    “Your body needs time to get used to the heat,” says Paul. - At first, it is better not to run.

    "Believe me, I didn't mean to," Rennie replies.

    - Panic reaction to a stranger, says Paul. “Because you don’t know what is dangerous and what is not, everything seems dangerous. We also deal with this all the time.

    He means the Middle East, the war. Rennie seems to be being condescending.

    - Is this against scurvy? she says.

    - What?

    “Well, for your pirate yachts,” says Rennie. - Lemons.

    Paul smiles and says:

    - I'll go inside and get us a drink.

    But this is not just a market. On the other side of the square, opposite the café, they set up a stage - orange crates with boards laid on top, a little high. Two boys, no more than sixteen years old, set up on two poles a sheet with the slogan in red letters: "PRINCE OF THE WORLD." Probably a local religious cult, Rennie thinks. New holy fools, neophytes. So that woman at the airport in the printed T-shirt was not a maniac, but just a fanatic. She saw such people: Griswold had its own sect, women who believed that wearing lipstick was a sin. But her mother believed that it was a sin not to use it.

    A man is sitting on the edge of the platform, leading the boys. He is thin, with a captain's beard; Here he leaned forward and began to dangle his legs. Rennie notices that he is wearing cowboy riding boots with high heels. The only one she saw wearing boots here. Why are they needed here at all? She briefly thought of his feet, clenched in a sweaty leather trap.

    He noticed that she was looking at him. Rennie immediately looks away, but he gets up and walks towards her. He came up, rested his palms on the table and looked down at her. Up close, he looks like a Hispanic.

    "It still wasn't enough," Rennie thinks. She decided that he was going to glue her, but she had nowhere to go, she was sandwiched between the table and the wall. She is waiting for a smile, some kind of offer, but in vain, he only frowns at her, as if trying to read her mind or impress; finally she says:

    – I am not alone.

    – Did you arrive yesterday? he asks.

    - Yes.

    Are you a writer? - Rennie thinks how he knows - but he knows and really does not expect her to answer: - We did not call you.

    Rennie heard that the attitude towards tourists in the Caribbean has worsened, but no one has ever expressed hostility so clearly. She doesn't know what to say.

    “If you stay here, it will only get worse,” he continues.

    Paul returns, carrying two glasses of some brown liquid.

    “Recently from the army,” he says, putting the glasses on the table. - What does he want?

    “I don't know,” Rennie says. - Ask him.

    But the man is rapidly moving away, limping slightly because of the bumps.

    - What did he tell you? Paul asks.

    Rennie told.

    “Maybe I offended someone's faith,” she says.

    “It's not faith, it's politics,” says Paul. However, it's more or less the same here.

    - "Prince of Peace" - politics? Rennie says. - Come on.

    “Well, his name really is Prince, and your new acquaintance, Marsdon, is his campaign manager,” Paul says, apparently not noticing anything strange about this. “They are local communists, so they use the word “peace,” just in case.

    Rennie takes a sip of the brown liquid.

    - What is this? she asks.

    “I have no idea,” Paul says. But this is the only option here. He leaned back and looked not at her, but into space. “They have elections now, the first since the British left,” he says. “There will be speeches this afternoon, from all three parties, one after the other. Prince, Doctor Minnow, there he is in his corner. Then the Minister of Justice will speak. He represents Ellis, who never leaves the house. Some say it's because he's always drunk; and others because he's been dead for twenty years, it's just that no one has figured it out yet.

    - Dr. Minnow? Rennie says, remembering the man from the plane. It is unlikely that there can be a coincidence.

    “Yeah, that’s a fish,” Paul grinned. - Images are in use here, illiteracy is high.

    By this moment, the slogans are already rising everywhere: "ELLIS IS KING" and "FISH IS LIVE". Everything is kind of homemade. Like a college student election.

    - Will there be riots?

    - Do you want to say if there is a danger? Paul says. Yes, there will be riots. And no, you are not in danger. You are a tourist, you are an exception.

    A truck slowly makes its way through the crowd; a man in a white shirt and mirrored sunglasses is standing in the back, barking at the crowd through a megaphone. Rennie doesn't understand a word. From two sides it is covered by two more with posters on which large black crowns flaunt: "ELLIS - KING".

    - Minister of Justice, says Paul.

    - Riots in what sense? Rennie asks, wondering if she'll be refunded her tour ticket if she arrives early.

    - They'll hustle and bustle, Paul says. - Nothing serious.

    But people started throwing things at the truck; it's fruit, Rennie realizes, they're grabbing it straight from the nearby stalls. Suddenly, a crumpled beer can hits the wall above her head and bounces off.

    “They weren't aiming at you,” Paul says. “But let me walk you to your hotel. Sometimes it comes to breaking glass.

    He pushes the table aside for her to get out, and starts pushing energetically through the crowd, against the current. Rennie thought that this might not be the time to be interested in tennis courts and restaurants. True, she already makes a frivolous impression. Then she thinks about inviting him to dine at the hotel together, but dismisses this idea too. Still won't understand.

    * * *

    It was for the best, considering what was for lunch. She ate a grilled cheese sandwich, burnt, and washed it down with a glass of grapefruit juice from a tin—there were no other options, really.

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