Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)
TITLE: Squirrel Ride
By Birdie Courtright
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“You told me that story!” interrupted the little acorn rebelliously, “drop me, already!”
The regal oak had heard enough. Seed or not, this little acorn had pushed every button. Daily, she had patiently spoken to her little seed of his stored power, his ability to grow into a great and mighty tree. For years she rehearsed the story of creation, so that she could pass it on with the same dramatic dignity that had left its mark in her heart. She never interrupted the story of the third day when the trees were given life by The Creator. Annoyed, she quickly released the little acorn.
Abruptly, the little acorn was plunging toward the ground, screaming for mercy.
“There”, said the regal oak, “consider yourself dropped.”
“That wasn’t dropped, that was flung!” retorted the rebellious little acorn, “You flung me to the ground! I might’ve…”
Before he could finish the sentence the little acorn was in motion.
Left, right, up, down, fast, stop…
“Uh oh, this must be the squirrel ride!” thought the little acorn. No one wants to take the squirrel ride! He could wind up anywhere. If the squirrel buried him, he had half a chance. His terror was mounting. He could be dropped into the spring or worse, eaten!
“What’s that wet stuff all over me?” cried the little acorn. “Squirrel spit! Oh, my gosh! I’m covered in squirrel spit! Help me!” he cried as he heard the voice of the regal oak, fading into the distance.
“Good-bye my little seed,” she called, “Safe journey! Remember your beginning tree!”
He was getting dizzy from the jerky motion of the squirrel’s frantic movements. One second he was being carried inside its cheeks and the next he was being twirled around between its paws. Up trees, down trees, right, left, stop.
Suddenly the motion stopped altogether. He was still inside the squirrel’s cheeks; the only thing he could feel was warm icky squirrel spit all over his little shell. He wondered why the squirrel was so still.
He heard a thud and the squirrel began tumbling over and over and over. The tumbling stopped as suddenly as it had begun. He felt the rush of warm air as he rolled from the squirrel’s mouth onto the road.
“Where I am?” The ground began to rumble. The rumble became a roar and then whoosh! The vibration set the little acorn spinning. “What was that?” moaned the little acorn, terrified by the roaring thing that had set him twirling. As he came to rest, the little acorn began to cry. He missed the shelter of his beginning tree.
Days passed. Occasionally, the roaring thing came back to terrify him. He thought a lot about his last words to the beginning tree. He was sorry for them now. The chances of becoming a mighty oak were growing slimmer by the day.
One morning, he heard human voices approaching.
“Look at this!” the little boy said, poking at a dead squirrel in the middle of the road, with his stick.
“Uhhhh, gross! It stinks!” said his sister, “Leave it alone! Look, an acorn! I’m gonna plant it over there!” She gently lifted the little acorn from the road and skipped off toward the field.
The little acorn was relieved to be moving again. He felt protected, cupped inside the little girl’s hand.
As if on a mission, the girl found a sunny open space and began digging. She plopped the little acorn down into the hole lovingly patting the dirt over it. “Please God, grow this acorn into a beautiful tree, Amen.”
The little acorn felt drowsy. “So this is soil” he said pensively. “This feels nice.”
The little acorn slept for nearly a year.
He was slowly aroused by the soft voice. He’d survived the burial!
“Who are you?” he asked timidly. His voice was deeper.
“I’m The Creator. Did you enjoy the squirrel ride?”
“Yes,” He said, gently tickling the new green leaves. “I’m always around. The regal oak was pleased to hear you’d emerged. I spoke to her about you this morning. She asked if I would tell you a story as soon as you awakened.”
“A story?” The little sapling was puzzled.
“Yes, listen closely, little oak”, The Creator began, “You were created on the third day…”
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