Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example).( 01/17/08)
By Beth Muehlhausen
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Old Mama Tumbleweed was firm.
“You’ve much to practice; much to learn.”
She scowled as if to take a stand –
With ammunition she was manned.
“You’re hardly humble, little weed,
And you’ll need patience to succeed.”
As wind swept through her with a sigh,
She looked at Tex – almost knee-high.
“But I just want to roll, like you!”
Tex cried aloud, kicking his shoe.
Her branches twitched down to her toes;
He knew this meant a nose-to-nose.
“Now Tex, you’re awfully young to roll –
You should pursue a simpler goal.”
“Like what?” he sulked, and turned deaf ears.
“Like standing tall; like leaning, dear.”
He hated leaning – thought it dull.
And so he glared, just like a bull.
“I won’t – and more – you can’t make me.”
Tex settled down defiantly.
“Alright then, son, your pride is clear.
Sit there and pout - I’m outa here!”
With that a gust of wind showed up
And rolled her far from her sad pup.
Tex yanked and pulled his stubborn root.
He tried to roll; he tried to scoot.
In an attempt to leave the ground,
He lunged, full force, with feet still bound.
Tex couldn’t move – his roots held fast.
Was Mama right? Should he have sassed?
What now, if not a chance to roll?
Regret and guilt, they took their toll.
Aha! He sensed a different plan:
Eat humble pie, become a man!
Perhaps he might lean after all!
He shook himself, still feeling small.
“I guess it won’t hurt me to try,”
He said, with caution, to the sky.
Speaking out loud, he leaned far back:
“I’m dizzy - blinded! That’s a fact!”
The sun shone hot; there was no doubt,
When facing “up” instead of “out.”
A rolling weed, he realized,
Would need to squint (or close) his eyes!
This fact his confidence erased.
It would be hard; the truth he faced.
Tex sat down hard, addressed his mood,
And thought about his attitude.
While Mama played out on the plain,
Tex reconsidered his disdain.
This rolling stuff – it might take skill –
Practice, and time, as well as will.
Tex then resolved – “I’ll train to roll
By leaning into each new goal!”
And so each day he practiced well
Knowing one day he’d roll pell-mell.
He learned to tolerate the heat
And stretch his body from his feet.
The days raced by – then weeks and months.
Tex practiced all his leaning stunts!
Most every day, round noon I ‘spect,
His mom rolled in to check on Tex.
And when he leaned from side to side
She beamed at him with such great pride!
“I knew you’d learn in your own time –
Now see, you’re leaning on a dime!”
Tex grinned his sheepish smile and said,
“Now Ma, don’t give me a big head.”
Days passed and Tex, no longer proud,
Drew friends galore, a real big crowd.
“You think I’m ready – really? Me?
I’m leaning good as good can be!”
They clapped and cheered, and Mama blushed.
Expectancy from Tex - it gushed!
Impatience gone, he now was wise,
And having grown, looked twice his size.
The manly Tex had grown so large;
It was at last his time to charge!
He took off quickly in a gust,
Leaving behind a cloud of dust.
“I learned to work, and not to scoff.
I practiced hard, and it paid off!”
Tex rolled down cliffs and over rocks
With speeds that could outrun a fox.
“Hurrah! Yahoo! Now here I go!”
He really put on quite a show.
That day Tex met his destiny:
Cross-country runs that set him free.
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