Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: Hormiga Surf Day
By Carolyn Kenney
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Up and away went Rana the frog, who was in a tremendous hurry today! He had to get to the river for “Surf Day” or all the good seats would be taken by the other animals. Up and away. Rana was in mid-air when a sudden movement caught his attention. He turned his head to glance into the forest when thud! Rana hit what felt like a soft brick wall; he fell with a jolt to the brown earth. “Ouch!” he yelled. “What happened?” As he lay tenderly on his back, he looked up, up, up into the dark brown eyes of Thunder the deer.
“Rana,” said Thunder. “You really must watch where you are jumping.”
From where Rana lay on the ground, Thunder looked almost as tall as the trees behind him. Thunder was gentle and cared for all the forest animals. “Thunder, I am so sorry. I didn‘t see you.” whispered Rana.
Suddenly the two friends heard the bushes rustle nearby. “Whoosh!” Koby the rabbit sailed by them.
“Koby!” shouted Thunder to the rabbit. “Come and help me with Rana!”
Koby landed softly on the leaves and turned in surprise to see Rana getting slowly to his feet. Koby said, “Rana, what happened?”
Rana took two small hops and said, “I don’t remember. It‘s all a blur.”
Thunder said, “Koby, are you going to the river?”
“Yes,” answered Koby. “Are you both going as well?”
“Yes,” said Thunder eagerly.
Koby said, “This is so exciting! Thunder, please tell us how this event started.”
Thunder said, “Many years ago, winter lasted longer than usual in the forest. The great ant, Hormiga realized they needed something to let them know when spring was on its way. One cold day, he gathered the ants together at the Rio River. Hormiga also watched Alex, the smallest ant in the colony. Alex and some friends were playing near the edge of the river.
“Get away from the water, Alex!” Hormiga shouted. “One of these days you will fall in.”
Alex was having too much fun to pay attention and minutes later he fell into the icy water! The other ants all raced to the river’s edge when they heard his screams.
Hormiga yelled to Alex, “There is a stick coming towards you. Jump onto it!”
“I can’t,” screamed Alex. “I’m afraid.”
“Alex, listen to me,” yelled Hormiga. “Jump on the stick!”
Alex saw the stick coming closer and closer. As it passed by him, Alex jumped onto it. Hanging on for dear life, he slowly climbed on top. Suddenly, Alex stood in the middle of the stick and with new found bravery he stayed on his little “surfboard”. The next thing the ants knew, Alex was standing on his back legs and riding the stick down the middle of the river. All the ants were stunned! As Alex became more confident, he turned the stick from side to side in the rushing waters.
Hormiga shouted, “When you come to the turn, jump off at that point and onto the moss at Rocky Point.”
Soon Alex came to the turn in Rio River where the water started to slow down. He moved the stick towards Rocky Point and jumped into the air! All in the ant colony held their breath. Then, thump! Alex landed on the soft moss and rolled over twice. The ants on the other side of the river did not move. Alex pushed himself up, turned around to look at his family and friends and raised his arms in celebration. The ants cheered!
That was the beginning of “The Great Hormiga Surf Day”. Each year a member of the ant colony, surfs down Rio River. The day this happens, all the animals in the forest come to watch. If the “surf ant” can make it all the way to Rocky Point, they know Spring is on its way.”
The three friends continued on their way and soon Thunder said in an excited voice, “Here we are at Rio River. Many of our friends are here also. Look. There are two seats near the river’s edge at Rocky Point. You two sit there and I will stand in the back since I am so tall.”
“It’s so exciting when everyone gets together like this.” said Koby. “I am glad I was able to come.”
Thunder said, “It’s great to be part of such a wonderful circle of friends.”
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