Gilbert Blythe wasn’t used to putting himself out to make a girl look at him and meeting with failure. She SHOULD look at him, that red-haired Shirley girl with the little-pointed chin and the big eyes that weren’t like the eyes of any other girl in Avonlea school. Gilbert reached across the aisle, picked up the end of Anne’s long red braid, held it out at arm’s length and said in a piercing whisper: “Carrots! Carrots!” Then Anne looked at him with a vengeance! She did more than look. She sprang to her feet, her bright fancies fallen into cureless ruin. She flashed one indignant glance at Gilbert from eyes whose angry sparkle was swiftly quenched in equally angry tears. “You mean, hateful boy!” she exclaimed passionately. “How dare you!” And then—thwack! Anne had brought her slate down on Gilbert’s head and cracked it—slate not head—clear across. - Chapter 15 - A Tempest in the School Teapot
Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe - The famous “Carrots” and slate scene.
The Anne and Gilbert rivalry is near and dear to fans of Anne of Green Gables. Here’s a little taste of the texture and tone of how this plays out in Anne the Series. Mild episode 5 spoilers, ahead…
Anne and Gilbert are up against one another in a Spelling Bee and are the final two contestants. The charming thing is when it’s Anne’s turn, Gilbert doesn’t look as though he’s hoping for her to fail. Instead, he’s quietly rooting for her to succeed. And when she indeed earns a genuine win, he’s sweet and gracious about it. Yet more layered acting from the young cast.
When Anne met Gilbert Blythe on the first day of school, he had an instant impact on her. He teasingly called her “Carrots”, an act which set in motion a long-time feud, the results of which touched both Anne’s and Gilbert’s lives far into the future.